With the rising popularity of social media and the increased time people currently spend online, many new possibilities to reach consumers became available for brands and advertisers. Many brands have a main focus on younger audiences (i.e., adolescents and young adults) in their online advertising strategies, as they spend a lot of time on social media, are interested in new technology and can easily be targeted through the World Wide Web. However, the overall population currently reaches a higher average age than ever, so it is important to consider older audiences as well, besides the more digitalized generations. These ‘older’ generations were raised with television as an important medium, did not grow up in a digitalized world, and rather exist of digital immigrants. This is expected to influence their online advertising susceptibility. As digital natives are more used to living in a digitalized world and as being surrounded by advertising is common to them due to the popularity of social networking sites, it is expected that they are less annoyed by online advertising and more susceptible to it. To discover whether these expectations in differences hold between younger and older audiences and their susceptibility towards advertising on social media, the social networking site Facebook was used. A comparison was made between the baby boomers and digital natives, by measuring participants’ brand attitude and purchase intention after being exposed to advertising. More positive brand attitudes and higher purchase intentions indicated being more susceptible to advertising. In order to study these attitudinal and behavioural stages of advertising susceptibility, the hierarchy-of-effects model was used. The experiment was conducted through an online survey. An effect of generation on advertising susceptibility was expected to occur and differences in advertising literacy were taken into account as mediating effect. Advertising literacy refers to people’s understanding of advertising and to what extent they dislike or are sceptic towards it. For advertising literacy, both participants’ conceptual advertising literacy and attitudinal advertising literacy were measured. The results showed that baby boomers scored higher on conceptual advertising literacy than digital natives, while the latter cohort had more positive brand attitudes after exposure to advertising. Further generational differences were not found in the analysis, though the results showed that for the respondents combined, a significant negative relation was found between attitudinal advertising literacy and both brand attitude and purchase intention. This indicates that respondents that showed to be sceptic towards adverting or disliked it, held more negative attitudes towards the brand and were less likely to purchase from the brand

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, Advertising susceptibility, baby boomers, digital natives, advertising literacy, social networking sites
Thesis Advisor S. Opree
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/50023
Series Media & Business
L. Bos. (2019, June 24). Susceptibility differences towards Facebook advertising A cross-generational comparison between baby boomers and digital natives. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50023