In this paper, we present results of a survey designed to (1) explore older consumers' perceptions of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising effects on themselves and others; (2) determine how those perceptions are influenced by respondent characteristics; and (3) examine how self/other effect perceptions are related to ad-prompted behaviors. The results provide evidence to support the operation of the third-person effect in DTC advertising. Findings indicate that (1) older consumers believe that DTC advertising exerts its greatest influence on "them," "not me"; (2) older consumers' third-person perceptions of DTC ad effects are multidimensional, and different effect dimensions show different magnitudes of the third-person effect; and (3) the third-person effect in DTC advertising is influenced by receiver-specific characteristics and predicts behavior following DTC ad exposure better than demographics and other receiver-specific variables. The study's findings extend several streams of research, including the literature on advertising and the older adult market, DTC advertising, and the third-person effect.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This?study?was?funded?in?part?by?a?grant?from?the?American?Academy? of?Advertising?to?the?first?and?third?authors.?The?authors?thank? BrendaCude,KarenKing,W endyMacias,SpencerT inkham,and? George?Zinkhan,?all?of?the?University?of?Georgia,?for?their?comments,? contributions,?and?criticisms.
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