Unconventional communications (UC) are based on eclectic and flexible tools that place consumers at the heart of the marketing process using creative and cutting-edge solutions to foster conversational relationships, and reinterpreting and rejuvenating the most classic one-to-many media and creating new platforms, helping brands to break through the clutter and to think out the box. Since a shared conceptualization of UC is still missing, our study is aimed at: - providing a comprehensive conceptual picture of ambient communication in the frame of UC, that attempts to cast light on the concrete role in branding strategies which is attached to ambient communication by advertising professionals; - depicting the perceptual representation of UC in building the relational territory between brand and consumers, highlighting the role that in advertising professionals’ views UC currently plays in supporting consumer-brand relationships; - exploring in-depth the discursive representation of ambient communication in order to outline how advertising professionals frame, articulate and contextualize ambient communication sense-making in their discourses. Our paper is designed according to a focused ethnography approach which involved a purposive sample of 11 advertising professionals. We analysed our data performing, first, a thematic-lexicographic treatment of our interviews and, second, a discourse analysis of their framing of the subject. Our findings reveal that agency professionals generally appear to be highly committed in their discursive depiction of ambient communication, which seems to highlight that ambient communication is perceived as a priority in their agenda. In spite of that professionals tend to show a skeptical attitude toward how ambient communication is currently used to support brand strategies. After the initial enthusiasm in the introduction of new creative concepts for the sake of innovation and disruption to break through the clutter, professionals seem to be now on the way to adopt a wiser approach to ambient communication questioning its true potential in creating value for the brand.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 Icoria Conference
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event12th Icoria Conference - Zagabria
Duration: 27 Jun 201329 Jun 2013


Conference12th Icoria Conference


  • ambient communication
  • brand
  • consumer-brand relationships
  • unconventional communication


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