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EMAC 2022 Annual

Do Memes impact Brand Coolness perceptions? Examining hedonic versus utilitarian products

Published: May 24, 2022


Aihoor Aleem, UCP - Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics; Marta Aguiar, Iscte-InstItuto Universitário de Lisboa; Sandra Loureiro, ISCTE-IUL


The present research aims to examine if Internet Memes reveal any influence on consumers’ Brand Coolness perceptions, in the context of hedonic versus utilitarian personal beauty items. A survey was conducted, to assess the utilitarian (Colgate) and hedonic (Dior) brands. Results show that Internet Memes do have an influence on Brand Coolness perceptions, as the characteristics associated with each brand were different when using and not using an IM. In regular conditions (without the use of a meme) the utilitarian brand is associated with the energetic and authentic characteristics, while the hedonic brand is associated with energetic, authentic, and iconic characteristics. With the use of a meme, the utilitarian brand is associated with the useful/extraordinary and original dimensions, while the hedonic brand is associated with the useful/extraordinary, energetic, popular, and subcultural coolness characteristics. To conclude, implications and future research avenues are provided.