Shoenberger, Kim, and Johnson


  • Diversity of body type and lack of body and skin modification may increase perceptions of authenticity of a brand’s advertising attempts online.
  • Perception of authenticity of a model in an Instagram feed may increase attitude toward the advertisement and purchase intent online.
  • One antecedent of perceived authenticity may be the decision not to modify the bodies of models in advertisements. In turn, perception of authenticity in this realm drives improved attitude toward the advertisement and increased purchase intent.


Authenticity has become a buzzword in the advertising industry, with AdAge reporting its presence in more than 17 million articles through a Google search (Byron, 2016). One question looms as advertisers look to create authentic messaging, however: Does the perception of authenticity increase consumer liking of a message and subsequent purchase intent for items in the message?