There and Back Again: Bleed from Extraordinary Experiences
Journal of Consumer Research, 49(5), 904-925
60 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2019 Last revised: 20 Mar 2023
Date Written: 2023
From reenactments to pilgrimages, extraordinary experiences engage consumers with frames and roles that govern their actions for the duration of the experience. Exploring such extraordinary frames and roles, however, can make the act of returning to everyday life more difficult, a process prior research leaves implicit. The present ethnography of live action role-playing explains how consumers return from extraordinary experiences and how this process differs depending on consumers’ subjectivity. The emic term “bleed” captures the trace that extraordinary frames and roles leave in everyday life. The subjective tension between the extraordinary and the ordinary intensifies bleed. Consumers returning from the same experience can thus suffer different bleed intensities, charting four trajectories of return that differ in their potential for transformation: absent, compensatory, cathartic, and delayed. These findings lead to a transformative recursive process model of bleed that offers new insights into whether, how, and why consumers return transformed from extraordinary experiences with broader implications for experiential consumption and marketing.
Keywords: extraordinary experience, ethnography, live action role-play, bleed, return, transformation
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation