A new study shows that celebrity endorsements may be a waste of money. Simply advertising a product on our personal Facebook pages could be enough to convince us we like it.
According to ScienceDaily, researchers asked subjects to compare two social networking sites, one of which was Facebook. Meanwhile, fake car ads appeared on both sites, on the subjects' own pages and on other people's. When surveyed afterwards, they greatly preferred the brands of cars that appeared on their own pages as opposed to those lowly (and presumably also fake) brands on others' pages. The effect was greatest among people with the highest self-esteem. The study authors hypothesize that when people think highly of themselves, "those positive feelings rub off" onto brands that appear next to their names and personal data.
This research is disturbing for a number of reasons. For one thing, it calls to mind a future wherein companies send us personalized ads with their products Photoshopped into our family photos, or try to sell us "Anna cars" and "Jessica gum." It also implies that some of us are so narcissistic that we are actually our own best celebrity endorsement. In fact, one day maybe all online ads will feature our own Facebook photos instead of smiling models and celebs, turning the entire internet into a horrifying version of Being John Malkovich. The adpocalypse is nigh.
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