The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self

Debra Trampe, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Diederik A. Stapel, Tilburg University , The Netherlands
Frans W. Siero, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
The current research explores the different meaning that products acquire when they, by very subtle manipulations, change from self-defining products into advertised consumer products. The authors propose the self-activation effect of ads, which holds that hedonic (as opposed to utilitarian) products in ads address individuals in their capacity as consumers, and consequently, consumers’ self-concept is activated and changed. Three experiments provide support for this hypothesis. That is, after viewing hedonic products in an advertisement context, thoughts about the self are more salient and different than after viewing the same hedonic product outside of its ad context.
[ to cite ]:
Debra Trampe, Diederik A. Stapel, and Frans W. Siero (2009) ,"The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 638-640.