Identity Salience and the Influence of Differential Activation of the Social Self-Schema on Advertising Response

Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 87, No. 6, pp. 1086-1099, December 2002

Harvard Business School Marketing Unit, Research Paper Series, No. 02-02

46 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2002 Last revised: 5 Apr 2012

See all articles by Mark R. Forehand

Mark R. Forehand

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Rohit Deshpande

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Americus Reed

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Marketing

Abstract

This paper examines how identity primes and social distinctiveness influence identity salience (i.e., the activation of a social identity within an individual's social self-schema) and subsequent responses to targeted advertising. Across two studies, individuals who were exposed to an identity prime (an ad element that directs attention to the individual's social identity) and who were socially distinctive (minorities in the immediate social context) expressed systematically different evaluations of spokespersons and the advertisements that featured them. Specifically, Asian (Caucasian) participants responded most positively (negatively) to Asian spokespeople and Asian-targeted advertising when the participants were both primed and socially distinctive. No main effects of identity primes or social distinctiveness were found. The implications of these findings for identity theory, advertising practice and intervention communications are discussed.

Keywords: advertising, ethnic marketing, social identity

Suggested Citation

Forehand, Mark R. and Deshpande, Rohit and Reed, Americus, Identity Salience and the Influence of Differential Activation of the Social Self-Schema on Advertising Response. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 87, No. 6, pp. 1086-1099, December 2002; Harvard Business School Marketing Unit, Research Paper Series, No. 02-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=345280 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.345280

Mark R. Forehand (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States
206-685-1955 (Phone)
206-685-9392 (Fax)

Rohit Deshpande

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-5449 (Phone)
617-496-5853 (Fax)

Americus Reed

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Marketing ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-0651 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

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