Purpose - To explore the affect on young peoples' attitude to advertising when exposed to an advertising model that appears to adhere to their cognitive or chronological age.
Design/methodology/approach - Suggests that a person's age may act as an important extrinsic cue for consumers; puts forward how in addition to chronological age (actual age), cognitive age (the age people perceive themselves to be) may also be important. Focusing on younger consumers examines, among other things, whether the congruency between perceived model age and consumers' cognitive ages impacts on consumers' response to advertising. Develops a model outlining the process by which age congruency influences brand evaluations; provides a number of hypotheses; describes how these were tested on consumers who were exposed to a number of models.
Findings - Reveals how the congruency between the perceived age of the ad model and the consumer's cognitive age significantly affected consumer responses to the ad and brand and had more of an impact than the congruency between the model's age and the consumer's chronological age.
Research limitations/implications - Explore the influence of cognitive age for consumers with a wider range of ages; replicate study in different cultures.
Originality/value - Highlights the importance of self-model cognitive age congruency.