More importantly, they also increase brand consideration.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers conducted four experiments:
- They served web-browsing college students an ad for a restaurant with “Refreshingly Sophisticated American Classics.” They told one group the ad was served because of their web browsing; they told another, because of their demographics. The first group was more likely to label themselves as having "sophisticated food preferences," and was more likely to dine at the restaurant, than the second.
- They served students an ad for a luxury watch, telling one group the ad was based on their web browsing; another, the ad was not. The first group of students was more likely to label themselves as "sophisticated" than the other group.
- They served students an ad for a pro-environment speaker. Students told the ad was served because of their web browsing were more likely to label themselves “green” and donate to an environmental charity, than students who thought the ad wasn't targeted.
- They served students an ad for an "outdoorsy" hot chocolate. Students with an interest in the outdoors were swayed by the ad; students without an interest in the outdoors weren't. The experiment proved, unless they already aspire to something, people wont alter their self-labels because of an ad.