Corporate branding at the crossroad between socio-political engagement and consumer clicktivism

Silvia Biraghi, Rossella Chiara Gambetti, Angela Antonia Beccanulli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the current scenario companies and brands are more and more expected to take a position meant as acting as people among people, as citizens among citizens by selecting sides and partnering on critical social issues and commitments. Most of the forms of social aggregations and activations are now finding an outburst of participations in techno-mediated platforms. In the connective and fast context of the social media people, stakeholders, consumers and brands can express also easy, quick, massive, clicktivist engagement. In this working paper we explore how brands partake in activism and clicktivism to get closer to their stakeholders and consumers and to assess their brand purpose in a meaningful way for society. Our aim is to critically appraise clicktivism as a contemporary form of brand participation and engagement to contribute to understand the blurred contours of contemporary marketing ethics that blend cultural branding and clicktivist digital engagement and reflect on how brand and consumer techno-mediated political discourse get currently interlaced to reinforce brand symbols, meanings and actions. To do that in this working paper, we first review the literature on societal corporate branding and brand purpose to then present some preliminary anecdotal evidence on corporate brand actions undertaken to take a stand against Donald Trump’s political and social discourse and on how these have been received, negotiated, and amplified in consumers’ discourses in networked platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarketing 4.0: le sfide della multicanalità XVI^ SIM Conference
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventXVI Convegno SIM - Piacenza
Duration: 24 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


ConferenceXVI Convegno SIM


  • brand purpose
  • clicktivism
  • corporate brand


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