This research investigates how loneliness affects people’s preferences for products that appear in social media ads. Four studies examine the impact of loneliness that is both measured in an established scale and situationally induced via a recall task. Individuals who experience higher levels of loneliness evaluate the same products more highly when they are advertised in a social (i.e., Instagram) compared to non-social (i.e., brand website) media platform. This effect occurs because loneliness increases people’s attention to others’ social evaluation of a product, and social media ads provide this information via social cues such as “likes” embedded in the ads. When the social cues are absent, the advantage of advertising on social compared to non-social media for people with high (vs. low) loneliness disappears. The findings suggest that social media ads have a unique appeal for individuals experiencing loneliness and highlight the role of social cues in shaping product evaluations.
Jun, Youjung and Eom, Taehyeon
"Experiencing High Loneliness Increases Evaluation of Products in Social Media Ads,"
Asia Marketing Journal: Vol. 25
, Article 5.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.53728/2765-6500.1622
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