Prisutdelning med Christian Tam
Photo: Benjamin Hartmann

"A game changer" – Christian Dam receives award at the Association for Consumer Research Conference


Our consumption is affected by nostalgia in different ways. This i something PhD student Christian Dam explores in his studies. His research is now being recognised internationally and at this year's Association for Consumer Research Conference in Seattle, Christian Dam received the Franco Nicosia Best Competitive Paper Award.

The Association for Consumer Research conference is the biggest consumer research conference in the world, and only half of the submissions are accepted. The paper: Value-creating processes of past-themed marketing and consumption (authored by Christian Dam, Benjamin Hartmann and Katja Brunk) not only made the cut, but Christian Dam left the conference with the prestigious Franco Nicosia Best Competitive Paper Award.

Congratulations Christian Dam! How does it feel today?

"It is definitely a game changer. First and foremost, it means that our research gets a lot of attention internationally. Having this award on my resume is definitely also helpful. Secondly, it feels really good to be recognised for my work. Academia can be tough and I often feel doubtful about my research, so it is a really nice to experience this sort of support. In that way, it also motivates me to continue to work on my research."

Christian Dam
Christian Dam
Photo: Gustav Nilsson on Unsplash

Briefly, what is the paper about?

"The paper is part of my doctoral thesis that deals with past-themed consumption, sometimes also referred to as nostalgic consumption. While we see the past often being used as a resource in marketing, we do not know so much about how the past actually creates value. This is what we explore in our paper. Specifically, we identify four different processes through which value is created by drawing on the past. These are idealisation, materialisation, mythologisation, and authentication. So through these processes marketers and consumers use the past to create value."

Why do you think they chose this particular paper?

"It is difficult for me to say but I think the topic of our paper is timely. So, we see how the past becomes more and more prevalent in the marketplace. Vintage clothing has never been more popular, the same with vinyls, nostalgia playlists are popular on Spotify, and old movies are repeatedly being rebooted. So there is a lot of interest for the past from consumers. However, it can be problematic when marketers and consumers draw on the past. They might reproduce undesirable behaviour from the past. Meanwhile, the past can also prove to be something to learn from. This could for example be in regards to practices of re-using products, which have implications for sustainability. Therefore I think that it is important to study how the past is being used in a market context and perhaps the jury thought likewise."

Text by: Agnes Faxén