UCLIC Research Seminar Series
Augmented reality mirrors are popular marketing tools that allow virtual try-on of beauty products, such as make-up. In this talk I will discuss my current reserch project where I examined how such sensory experiences affect consumer perception of the self, specifically how consumers experience a gap between how attractive they perceive themselves to be and how attractive they would ideally like to be. This perception is important, as prior research shows that such discrepancies between ideal and actual attractiveness can negatively affect the well-being of consumers or make them engage in coping strategies in decision-making. A series of three lab experiments shows that viewing oneself in an AR mirror with virtual make-up affects this ideal-actual attractiveness gap and that this process differs significantly depending on appearance self-esteem. Another important element in this process is ideal-self congruence, which additionally explains how consumers evaluate such virtual make-up when browsing through different looks. These studies also provide evidence that augmentation significantly changes variety-seeking, in relation to both the self and to products. Lastly, an additional survey-based study provides empirical support for other downstream effects, such as self-compassion. While commercial immersive technologies aim to generate responses related to brands and products, this research demonstrates that the effects of AR mirrors also extend to consumers' self-concept, which gives rise to important implications for both academics and practitioners in the marketing and human-computer interaction fields.
Ana Javornik, PhD, is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Digital Marketing at the School of Management, University of Bristol. Prior to that she was a Lecturer in Marketing at Newcastle University (Business School). Her research broadly focuses on consumer behaviour and digital marketing and she specialises in immersive technologies, with a particular interest in the use of augmented reality in commercial contexts. She completed her PhD and MSc at Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. During her PhD studies she spent a year at the UCL Interaction Centre and also conducted an industrial secondment in collaboration with the London-based studio Holition. Ana maintains strong links with industry through consultancy and research collaborations.