Achieving cultural relevance in technomediated platforms: instant cultural branding and controversial clicktivism

Silvia Biraghi, Rossella Chiara Gambetti, Angela Antonia Beccanulli*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Cultural branding acknowledges brands’ power as cultural artifacts that infuse culture with meanings and absorb new meanings from culture. The last mile of brand humanization sees brands act as citizens that construct their meanings through taking active part in socio-political discourse. This participation has been magnified and challenged by digital platforms that activate clicktivism practices to propagate cultural values. Our study is aimed at exploring how clicktivism is currently being leveraged by brands to achieve cultural relevance. We set our study in the clicktivist engagement solicited by the political mandate of Donald Trump, as numerous brands saw in Trump’s contested political agenda an opportunity to stand up and achieve cultural relevance. We term this new brand activism and its temporal dynamics as “instant cultural branding”, pointing at branding initiatives that apply fast, real time communication logics to get organically embedded in technomediated conversations with consumers, leveraging on cogent socio-cultural and political issues. Our findings reveal how, despite ambivalence of perceived authenticity of brand discourse can cause strong consumer criticism in digital conversations, deliberate ambiguity of instant cultural branding proves to be a trigger of clicktivist engagement. Ambiguity in taking socio-political stance resonates with the cultural norms of contemporary shifting consumers’ activism and ideology. Hence, controversial clicktivism emerges as a new dimension of cultural relevance in the fast temporality of technomediated discourse.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-27
Numero di pagine27
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Brand activism
  • Clicktivism
  • Corporate Citizenship
  • Cultural Branding
  • Technomediated platforms


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