Tuesday, August 21, 2018

UA Researchers Say Irony is the New Black

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 4:27 PM

What is Eller College of Management up to these days? Figuring out if you are wearing that Justin Bieber t-shirt because you are a legitimate Belieber or because you are being ironic. Trucker hats, are they really cool? PBR, is it actually good? Or is it all in the name of irony?

New research by Assistant Professor of Marketing at Eller, Caleb Warren and his research partner Gina Mohr, Associate Professor of Marketing at Colorado State University, indicates that consuming brands ironically is a way to secretly signal our identity and beliefs to those that know us.

The researchers define this phenomenon as ironic consumption. The term includes using a brand or adopting a behavior as an attempt to signal identity, trait or belief opposite from their perceived conventional meaning of the product, according to a UA press release.

"Throughout history, consumers have re-appropriated products to make a statement," Warren said in the press release. "For example, trucker hats were at one time low-status products and originally came into fashion through rural workers. They've since been revalued by young urban consumers."

click to enlarge COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Ironic consumption allows for an in-group and and out-group. Those who get it, and those who don't.

Another way that ironic consumption is used is to signal status. Researchers use the example of Bruno Mars eating at a Waffle House. It wouldn't be ironic if the star ate at a mid-level restaurant, but the contrast of an extremely rich celebrity and the humble walls of a Waffle House are where the irony comes in.

Warren and Mohr also found that ironic consumption can offend some audiences, for example those who like Justin Bieber might be offended at a hard rocker wearing Bieber's shirt in a way that makes fun of him or his fans.

Those that are wearing a Bieber shirt ironically, however, probably like the idea of offending his fans. It's all part of the irony.

Ironic consumption can also safeguard those who might actually like the subject of their consumption, researchers found.

click to enlarge VALERIE HINOJOSA
  • Valerie Hinojosa
"Consuming something ironically is also a security measure," Warren said in the press release. "No one wants to be mocked for watching, say, Jersey Shore. But if you so do with a behavior that suggests you're watching ironically, you won't suffer any stigma related to the product."

So, to those hard rockers out there in Bieber shirts, is it too late now to say sorry?

Why is this relevant to professors of marketing you ask? Ironic consumption can often lead to a new and desired brand identity. According to the press release, Pabst Blue Ribbon is an example of a product with an uncool legacy and known to be not the best product, that through ironic consumption has become the chosen brew of many-a-hipster.

The newest ironic consumption trend? Remember when big white ugly sneakers used to be just for dads? Think again. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
DO(OM) Yoga

DO(OM) Yoga @ Floor Polish

Sundays, 8-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Menopause the Musical!

The cast of four fabulous women shop for laundry at a Bloomingdale’s sale, sing 25 songs about… More

@ The Gaslight Music Hall Tue., March 19, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 21, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 22, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 24, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., March 25, 6-8 p.m., Tue., March 26, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 27, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 28, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 29, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 31, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., April 1, 6-8 p.m., Tue., April 2, 6-8 p.m., Wed., April 3, 6-8 p.m. and Thu., April 4, 6-8 p.m. 13005 N Oracle Rd

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. 19 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: March 22 to 24 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. "Electrical Hypersensitivity" to be Discussed at Films Screenings around Tucson (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, March 21 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Laughing Stock: What Will Millennials Do? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Arizona Spends $7,613 More Per Student In White Districts Than In Nonwhite Districts? Really? (Answer: No, Not Really) (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2019 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation