Effects of Advertising Exposure on Materialism and Self-Esteem: Advertised Luxuries As a Feel-Good Strategy?

Inge Lens, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
Mario Pandelaere, Ghent University, Belgium
Luk Warlop, K.U.Leuven, Belgium
Two experiments investigate the relations between advertising exposure, self-esteem and materialism. Evidence is found that ads for luxury products may influence consumers’ levels of materialism and self-esteem. Consumers who claim being able to buy advertised luxuries report increased levels of materialism and an enhanced self-esteem after the exposure. In contrast, not being able to buy advertised luxuries appears to threaten consumers’ self-esteem and to diminish their materialistic pursuits. Encouraging participants to actively imagine owning the advertised products is shown to eliminate these effects.
[ to cite ]:
Inge Lens, Mario Pandelaere, and Luk Warlop (2010) ,"Effects of Advertising Exposure on Materialism and Self-Esteem: Advertised Luxuries As a Feel-Good Strategy?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 850-852 .