The serious side to funny cartoons: understanding public perception of wine through cartoon content analysis

Kristin Matheson, Kirk Plangger, Jan Kietzmann, Joseph Vella, Phillip Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding public perception of a wine festival, organic wine, or the impact of climate change on wine quality can be a complex task. Wine consumers’ opinions, thoughts, feelings and attitudes seem to appear in traditional channels, such as newspapers and magazines, as well as in digital channels, such as blogs, tweets, text messages, social media comments, and consumer ratings. These come in all sorts of formats, but most commonly through text (e.g. posts, tweets) and images (e.g. pictures and videos). Content analysis can be an effective way to understand these widely shared means of expressing sentiment towards a wine and the wine industry. This article examines 300 wine cartoons using a content analysis method that classifies their content into four analytical dimensions: narrative, domestication, binary struggle, and normative transference. This cartoon content analysis reveals details of how different types of wine customers consume and evaluate wine across contexts (e.g. wine in restaurants or at home). This analysis also explores public perception trends regarding wine: social status associations, emotional consumer responses, and consumption-specific concerns. We conclude by discussing future research directions and managerial implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-106
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Wine Research
Issue number2
Early online date14 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • cartoon
  • content analysis
  • customer insights
  • Public perception
  • reputation management
  • wine


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