Consumer embarrassment is an important concern for marketers. Yet, little is known about embarrassment in passive situations like advertising viewing. The authors investigate when and why consumers experience embarrassment as a result of exposure to socially sensitive advertisements. The theory distinguishes between viewing potentially embarrassing ads together with an audience that shares the social identity targeted by the message and viewing the same ads together with an audience that does not share the targeted social identity. Four studies provide support for the theory, demonstrating that advertising targeting and social context jointly determine feelings of embarrassment and advertising effectiveness.

advertising, embarrassment, self-conscious emotions, social identity
Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting: General (jel M0), Marketing (jel M31), Advertising (jel M37)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/39630
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Puntoni, S, de Hooge, I.E, & Verbeke, W.J.M.I. (2013). Advertising-induced Embarrassment (No. ERS-2013-003-MKT). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/39630