Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PhD in Business

First Advisor

Pierre Berthon

Second Advisor

Dipayan Biswas

Third Advisor

John Deighton

Fourth Advisor

Leyland Pitt


Irony is one mechanism that advertisers use to attract consumer attention. Although ironic advertising (IA) is utilized in the mass media, it has received surprisingly little conceptual or empirical attention from marketing scholars. Perhaps one reason for this is that in marketing irony has been viewed primarily from a postmodern perspective. This is in marked contrast to psycholinguists where the phenomenon is approached from a more ecumenical, realist point of view. This dissertation is based on the premise that a realist approach to ironic advertising would produce insights for both marketing theory and practice.

This dissertation comprises of three papers that look at ironic advertising from different, but complimentary, perspectives. The first paper proposes a definition of ironic advertising and develops a theoretical model of ironic communications. In the second paper the model is empirically tested in a series of experiments. The third paper seeks to look at the relationship between perceived brand value and ironic advertising.