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Entry 7 www.thefoodpornproject.tumblr.com

Sali Davies


Entry 7: In order to explain the motivations and themes behind these posts, it is important to note what ‘emotions’ are. Although there is a magnitude of research on emotions it remains difficult to define the concept as a whole. Despite this lack of definition (Fehr & Russell, 1984), everybody understands and appreciates what emotions are and recognise when we are experiencing a certain emotion. Though, we must consider the following three points (Izard, 1994, p.20):

1. The experience or sensation of feeling 2. The process that takes place in the individuals brain 3. The observable behaviour i.e. facial expressions.

The emotional motivations behind posts relate to their service experience. Research signifies that emotions can in fact directly affect factors such as word of mouth communications, loyalty and complaining behaviour among many (Allen et al., 1992; Barsky and Nash, 2002; Davidow, 2003; Folkes et al., 1987; Liljander and Strandvik, 1997; Wong, 2004).

Basing these assumptions on my data analysis in previous weeks, I am going to look out for the following themes in my data this week. These seem to be the reoccurring motivations that keep appearing, but I want to make sure that this is accurate. 1

HUMOUR; 2FRUSTRATION; 3DESIRE; 4IDENTITY AND 5DEFENSIVENESS

Too funny!!!! 1

1HUMOUR


Pretty sure some were quite deliberate. I mean, nobody can think that someone's name is "Anus". Although I know a few folks for whom that would be very appropriate 2

2FRUSTRATION

For phoebe and Ursula4. I give them those. I'm not sure if I would have spelled phoebe correct as well 5

5DEFENSIVENESS

The results of the liberal education agenda.2/5

5DEFENSIVENESS 6SOCIETY

My name is Taylor, I've had it spelled by Starbucks: Taillor, tylor, taler and my favorite Taller.1/4

1HUMOUR

I'd rather be educated liberally than be conservatively ignorant5

5DEFENSIVENESS

Caleb ---->> Calab, Celeb, Calob, Kalab, Taylor.... sigh2

2FRUSTRATION

The results of not funding education! 2

2FRUSTRATION

My name is Kei and my name was misspelled often. I've been "Kay", "K", "Kai", "Kaye", and my favorite "Gay".1/4

1HUMOUR

It actually has more to do with you're in a hurry and don't have time to figure if someones name is spelled right 5

5DEFENSIVENESS

Oh goodness, a little "fun" and people have to get all political!!! I don't remember learning how to spell 5

5DEFENSIVENESS

4IDENTITY

4IDENTITY

This stream of comments display just how varied the comments can be, and how different the motivations behind the posts may be. From “too funny!!!” to “the results of the liberal education agenda”. Clearly, these individuals have extremely different perspectives on the article. The community members consistently feel that they need to share their own experiences when commenting, despite not sharing a photograph. For example: “My name is Kei and my name was misspelled often. I've been "Kay", "K", "Kai", "Kaye", and my favorite "Gay". This individual feels the need to share his own experiences with others. They have their misspelt


names in common, it’s a conversation topic. Like food, identity is a topic that we can talk about freely without worrying about our privacy issues. However this individual has implied an element of humour to the end of the comment my mentioning “my favourite..Gay”. Again, the topic of defensiveness keeps appearing. Members defend Starbucks employees themselves by explaining how names can easier be misconstrued. Is this because of their sheer commitment to the community or Starbucks as a brand? Or do they blame society and the education system? This element of society is a new theme that I have identified. It takes the meaning of the post much further than the community itself by often blaming the educational system and other establishments for the misspellings. Despite the lack of ‘desire’ as a motivation in these comments, it is in fact a central motivator within the foodporn topic. Desire is ultimately the initial reason that a user visits Starbucks. They want a coffee. Known to be “the motivating force behind much of contemporary consumption” (Belk, 2003), desire is an extremely powerful cyclic emotion which can be both discomforting and pleasurable which is considered to be an embodied passion it is no surprise that there is no exception in the case of foodporn and more specifically, Starbucks

Though desires only come alive in a social context as we often see things for something that they are not (Castoriadis, 1975). The imaginary cannot exist without the symbolic (the social template for the imagination) as research has identified that we can in fact fulfil our food


desires by simply looking at images of food online. In essence, these photos of Starbucks coffee are a form of ‘foodporn’. Despite, a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology identifying that overconsumption of foodie images can actually suppress your appetite, as long as you don’t overindulge, foodporn continues to fulfil our desires as "Half the brain is visual in some sense," (Spence,2013) and vision plays a big part in our enjoyment of eating. This sense of desire appears to be the initial motivator behind Starbucks posts. Consumers want their desire for a delicious coffee to be fulfilled.

For example: It is clear that desire is the main motivation behind these posts. The users in these images have used. This can be identified as the coffee is the central focus to the photograph. They tend to be the richer more indulgent coffee’s with all the added extras – cream, sprinkles – the lot! Some even feature a cake/cookie alongside the coffee. In this example, the comment “DON’T MIND IF I DO :D” insinuates that the user is about to indulge and enjoy. Additionally, they are trying to make others jealous. They have indeed succeeded by making the image look as delicious as possible. The comment “YUMM THAT LOOKS GOOOOD” supports this claim.


However this is not only the case. Due to baristas consistently misspelling consumers names on the coffee cups, frustration and disappointment have now become central motivations behind Starbucks miss-spelling posts. These often occur when consumer’s hopes are dashed. They occur when the realization sets in that their expectation of the drink cannot be met when their name has been spelt incorrectly. In such cases, it is not that the desire has diminished but, that the hope of achieving the satisfaction and excitement that the drink should create has now died. Once the name is on the cup, there appears to be no alternative way to fulfil the desire. This could potentially diminish the strength of the relationship between the customer and Starbucks as this frustration is now the new focus of the consumer’s thoughts. Conversely, desire is portrays in a different way in regards to Coca Colas campaign. Initially, consumers possess the desire to find a bottle with their name on it, but they do not share a photograph of their drink until this desire has been fulfilled. These photographs are prime examples of this. The caption to this users photograph on twitter is “THIS IS THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE #SHAREACOKE” and the other example goes on to say “FINALLY FOUND ONE”, expressing their sheer happiness and relief after their desires have been fulfilled. Unlike the Starbucks photographs the focus is not the drink itself, in fact the name on the bottle is the focal point. Other users are more likely to desire to find a bottle with their name on it rather than desire a bottle of cold coca cola


Entry 7