Search ETDs:
Behaviorally Targeted Ads as Implied Social Labels
Summers, Christopher, Summers

2016, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Business Administration.
“Behavioral targeting” is an Internet-based targeting strategy that delivers digital ads to individuals based on their online behavior (e.g., search, shopping). This dissertation explores the unique ways in which consumers respond to ads using this type of targeting (vs. to ads that use more traditional forms of targeting), demonstrating that a behaviorally targeted ad can act as a social label even when it contains no explicit labeling information. Instead, when consumers recognize that the marketer has made an inference about their identity in order to serve them the ad, the ad itself functions as an implied social label. Across seven studies, I demonstrate that behaviorally targeted ads lead consumers to make adjustments to their self-perceptions to match the implied label; these self-perceptions then impact behavior, including purchase intentions for the advertised product and other behaviors related to the implied label. Importantly, these
effects only hold when the label is plausibly connected to consumers’ prior behavior (i.e., when the targeting is at least moderately accurate). I conclude by discussing theoretical and practical implications.
Rebecca Walker Reczek (Advisor)
Robert W Smith (Committee Member)
H. Rao Unnava (Committee Member)
Patricia West (Committee Member)
Russell Fazio (Committee Member)
102 p.

Recommended Citations

Hide/Show APA Citation

Summers, C. (2016). Behaviorally Targeted Ads as Implied Social Labels. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Hide/Show MLA Citation

Summers, Christopher. "Behaviorally Targeted Ads as Implied Social Labels." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2016. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 15 Oct 2018.

Hide/Show Chicago Citation

Summers, Christopher "Behaviorally Targeted Ads as Implied Social Labels." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2016. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Files

Summers Dissertation embedded.pdf (2.4 MB) View|Download