A ‘Civic Brand’ is the civic function exercised by a brand, while ‘Brand Activism’ is defined as the attitude of some brands when it comes to taking a position on current political, ethical or social issues. In the first half of 2020, for example, some brands have given voice and space to social values for a new start based on fairer and more sustainable development.
Brand activism was born in the USA as an expression of societal battles (especially in defence of minorities such as Native Americans or against gender discrimination) and then extended to other countries. One example is Nike’s campaign, ‘For once, Don’t Do It.’, (May 2020), linked to the killing of George Floyd and the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement that have involved many cities in America and throughout the world.
According to a recent survey published by the Civic Brands Observatory, in Italy, the percentage of people in favour of companies taking a position on socially relevant issues has increased (from 46% in 2019 to 65% in 2020). A surprising figure, which is accompanied by the fact that 70% of the people interviewed do not remember any brands that ran communication campaigns focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Surface appreciation therefore, but without deeper benefits in terms of recognition. Will the brands continue this kind of communication even without a return in terms of image? This will be the true test of their commitment.
To learn more about the development of the Civic Brand phenomenon it is possible to stay up to date on the Facebook page (in Italian) of the Observatory created on the initiative of Ipsos and Paolo Iabichino.