When you realize that big brother is watching: How informing consumers affects synced advertising effectiveness

Claire M. Segijn, Eunah Kim, Asma Sifaoui, Sophie C. Boerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


New personalization technologies have made it possible to deliver personalized messages to consumers based on their offline media usage in real time, which is known as synced advertising. These developments go hand-in-hand with a rise in concerns related to consumers’ privacy. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of increasing consumer knowledge of synced advertising (SA) on resistance through critical attitudes and perceived surveillance. In two online experiments, we found that increased SA awareness and knowledge generates more critical attitudes and a greater level of perceived surveillance, which leads to more resistance to a synced ad. For consumers without prior SA experience (e.g., through education, work), providing technical information on SA is the most effective in increasing SA knowledge (both objective and subjective knowledge), but personally relevant information could help increase confidence in SA knowledge (i.e., subjective knowledge). These results advance theories of persuasion knowledge, as well as the underlying mechanism of synced advertising effects on consumer empowerment. The results contribute to literacy programs by showing what type of information could help consumers make informed decisions about this new personalization strategy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • perceived surveillance
  • personalization
  • persuasion knowledge
  • resistance
  • Synced advertising


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