Getting Personal in Public!? How Consumers Respond to Public Personalized Advertising in Retail Stores

Nicole J. Hess, Corinne M. Kelley, Maura L. Scott, Martin Mende, Jan H. Schumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-361
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 New York University


  • Ad-self-congruity
  • Consumer data
  • Personalized advertising
  • Retail technology
  • Social presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Getting Personal in Public!? How Consumers Respond to Public Personalized Advertising in Retail Stores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this