Warmth or competence: Brand anthropomorphism, social exclusion, and advertisement effectiveness

Fu Liu, Haiying Wei, Zhenzhong Zhu, Haipeng (Allan) Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This paper examines how social exclusion moderates the role of brand anthropomorphism in advertisement effectiveness, its underlying mechanism, and its boundary conditions. Specifically, we propose that rejected (vs. ignored) consumers are more likely to purchase brands advertised as warm (vs. competent) through decreased (vs. increased) need for uniqueness. Additionally, product type moderates the effect of brand anthropomorphism, such that rejected (vs. ignored) consumers prefer warm (vs. competent) brands only for products with high safety levels; for less safe products, consumers tend to purchase competent brands, regardless of the state of their social exclusion. We empirically test this hypothesis across four studies that use different operationalizations of social exclusion. We conclude by discussing our contributions to the literature on brand anthropomorphism and social exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103025
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Ad effectiveness
  • Brand anthropomorphism
  • Need for uniqueness
  • Social exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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