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Serve a user an ad for a “sophisticated” product, and the user—knowing such ads are personalized—may actually feel more sophisticated herself.
In one study with undergraduate students, the researchers found that participants were more interested in a Groupon for a “sophisticated” restaurant when they thought the ad was targeted based on their browsing habits.
On the other hand, participants who thought the ads were targeted based on age and gender (e.g.
That, in turn, could lead the user to become more interested in the brand serving up the ad.
This new twist on behavioral targeting psychology has interesting implications for marketers.