Global brands and the war in Ukraine

Eleni (Lenia) Tsougkou, Martin Sykora, Suzanne Elayan, João S. Oliveira, Kemefasu Ifie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The war in Ukraine found numerous global brands publicly taking stances on the issue. They turned to their social media channels to disclose their initiatives, which ranged from simple statements through to actions of greater substantiality such as donations and divestments and triggered a lively conversation and opposing consumer reactions. The phenomenon of brands advocating for crucial but polarising socio-political matters is known as brand activism and is a concept still under-conceptualised. Our study extends the knowledge of brand activism in two ways. First, we address literature calls for investigating the ways through which the marketplace endorses peace by exploring how brand activism serves as a peace marketing tool. We, therefore, term brands’ stance-taking promoting peace or in relation to war as “peace brand activism” and embark on fully unpacking it as a concept. Second, extending the understanding of the concept of brand activism that stands as mostly unidimensional, we proceed in developing a comprehensive conceptualisation of peace brand activism that tracks the range of forms it can take and accounts for its different types and characteristics. Our work employs an exploratory qualitative analysis to unravel how global brands become peace activists, as disclosed in their social media channels across different platforms. Our data captures the activities of a sample of global brands across social media channels. Our findings reveal the range of brand activism forms that can be employed by brands. We also unearth the types of peace brand activism approaches that can be adopted when disclosing peace brand activism initiatives on social media channels. Our work contributes to theory by providing a holistic understanding of the concept of brand activism for peace and explicates important implications for managers and policy makers alike.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2023
EventGlobal Marketing Conference 2023 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 20 Jul 202323 Jul 2023


ConferenceGlobal Marketing Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleGMC 2023
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • brand activism
  • peace marketing
  • war
  • global brands


Dive into the research topics of 'Global brands and the war in Ukraine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Peace Brand Activism

    Tsougkou, E., Sykora, M., Elayan, S., Oliveira, J. S. & Ifie, K.

    1/09/22 → …

    Project: Non-funded project

Cite this