Brand activism

 -Juan-Luis Manfredi-Sánchez

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In this work, brand activism is defined as a strategy that seeks to influence citizen-consumers by means of campaigns created and sustained by political values. It involves a transformation in corporate communication management and social responsibility practices, which borrows from those of social movements to contribute to the social production of identity of citizen-consumers. This corporate political shift involves the use of messages, slogans and content based on final (of common interest) or instrumental (linked to the industry in which they are applied) political values. Political behaviour does not operate in a vacuum but is the response to a change in values of the young generations employing digital technologies and demanding a different behaviour from global firms. However, these political advertising practices have been heavily criticised in the field of political economy, insofar as it is contended that they are impostures lacking authenticity. Thus, 45 campaigns were analysed to determine the characteristics of brand activism in this new socio-political context. From the results it follows that this activist practice, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a relevant trend in political communication because it aligns individual identity, the management of public assets and corporate action in the political sphere.


Brand activism; corporate political shift; corporate diplomacy; campaign; environment; consumer-citizen; identity; authenticity


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