The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of personalization of advertising and adding an advertising cue to advertisements on Facebook, on 9-to-13-year-old children’s awareness of selling intent, attitude towards the advertisement (Aad) and word-of-mouth (WOM) intention.
A 2 (personalized ad vs non-personalized ad) × 2 (advertising cue vs no advertising cue) between-subjects design was tested among 167 Belgian children aged 9-13 by means of an in-class online experiment.
Personalization combined with an advertising cue increases the awareness of selling intent but influences neither Aad nor WOM intention. Awareness of selling intent does not affect WOM intention. Personalization does not increase Aad. Aad has a positive effect on WOM intention.
Implementing a clear advertising cue enhances children’s awareness of selling intent of personalized advertising but does not affect behavioral intention. Public policy, the advertising community and the educational system should take these insights into account when developing regulations, ethical advertisements and educational packages to improve children’s understanding and responses to contemporary advertising formats.
The study is the first one to investigate the joint effect of advertising personalization and an advertising cue on awareness of selling intent and on evaluative and behavioral responses of children. Additionally, the role of Aad and awareness of selling intent for the development of WOM intention is explored.
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