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Hess, Nicole J.; Kelley, Corinne M.; Scott, Maura L.; Mende, Martin; Schumann, Jan H. (2020): Getting Personal in Public!? How Consumers Respond to Public Personalized Advertising in Retail Stores. In: Journal of Retailing, Vol. 96, No. 3: pp. 344-361
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Retailers are now expanding personalized advertising into consumers' public life (e.g., via digital in-store displays). Little research has examined how consumers respond to such public personalized advertising (PPA). Grounded in theory on impression management and consumers' self-concept, three experiments examine when and why social presence and configurations of ad-self-congruity affect consumer responses to PPA negatively or positively. This research reveals that (negative/positive) consumer responses are influenced by a new typology of four distinct ad-self-congruity configurations (i.e., threatening ad-self-(in)congruity vs. bolstering ad-self-(in)congruity). Uncovering contingency factors of the effectiveness of PPAs (i.e., social presence and distinct configurations of ad-self-congruity), the results show that personalization in public diminishes favorable consumer response to threatening self-congruent ads;this effect is driven by consumer-perceived embarrassment. In contrast, bolstering self-congruent ads translate into positive consumer response with social presence;this effect is driven by consumer-perceived flattery. Taken together, the results provide insights into how PPAs influence consumers via the interplay of personalization, social presence, varying advertising appeals and distinct configurations of ad-self-congruity, thus providing meaningful implications on how to effectively implement personalization technologies in retailing.