L'immaginario in lattina: il ruolo del packaging nell'esperienza di consumo di un birrificio artigianale

Nicola Martellozzo


Canned imaginaries: the influence of packaging on the consumption experience in a craft brewery. Craft brewing is a global movement, locally redefined through places, people and, not last, objects. The packaging of goods is one of the distinctive practices of modernity, a cultural technique for the treatment of consumer objects. In this article we propose an analysis of the immaterial dimension of beer cans in an Italian craft brewery. Different aspects of package design are involved within social imaginaries, shaping consumer's desires and experience. Packaging is an active agent of a marketing strategy which involves the consumption experience. The agency of the can is express by its capacity to establish with the consumer a multi-sensory relation, through the immaterial components inscribed within its own materiality. Moreover, the desire component exceed the instrumentality of the object, bringing the can in a new system of objects, as a collectable item.


Social Imaginaries; Beer Can; Craft Brewing; Material Culture; Experience Marketing

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Aganoff N., et al. (2014) Ethnography Guiding Brand Strategy: Rum & Real Blokes, in R.M. Denny, P.L. Sunderland (eds.), Handbook of Anthropology in Business, 379-395, London and New York, Routledge.

Baudrillard J. (1996) The System of Objects, New York and London, Verso.

Belk R. (1995) Collecting in a Consumer Society, New York and London, Routledge.

Burley D. (1995), Contexts of Meaning: Beer Bottles and Cans in Contemporary Burial Practices in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga, Historical Archaeology, 29: 75-83.

Cardello A.V., et al. (2016), Cognitive and emotional differentiators for beer: Anexploratory study focusing on ‘uniqueness’, Food Quality and Preference, 54: 23-38.

Ciabarri L. (ed.) (2018), Cultura materiale. Oggetti, immaginari, desideri in viaggio tra mondi, Milano, Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Bichard J-A., Gheerawo R. (2011) The Designer as Ethnographer: Practical Projects from Industry, in A.J. Clarke (ed.), Design Anthropology. Object Culture in 21st Century, 45-55, Austria, Springer Verlag/Wien.

Clemons E.K., et al. (2006), When Online Reviews Meet Hyperdifferentiation: A Study of the Craft Beer Industry, Journal of Management Information Systems, 23: 149-171.

Conkey M.W. (2006) Style, Design and Function, in C. Tilley, et al. (eds.), The Handbook of Material Culture, 355-372, New York: SAGE publishing.

de Waal Malefyt T. (2014) An Anthropology of the Senses: Tracing the Future of Sensory Marketing in Brand Rituals, in R.M. Denny, P.L. Sunderland (eds.), Handbook of Anthropology in Business, 704-721, London and New York, Routledge.

Garavaglia C. (2017) The Birth and Diffusion of Craft Breweries in Italy, in C. Garavaglia, J. Swinnen (eds.), Economic Perspectives on Craft Beer: A Revolution in the Global Beer Industry, 229-258, Springer.

Gilmore J.H., Pine J. (2011) The Experience Economy. Updated Edition, Boston, Harvard Business Review Press.

Hoskins J. (2006) Agency, Biography and Objects, in C. Tilley, et al. (eds.), The Handbook of Material Culture, 74-84, New York, SAGE publishing.

Keane W. (2005) Signs Are Not the Garb of Meaning: On the Social Analysis of Material Things, in D. Miller (ed.), Materiality, 182-205, London and Durhnam, Duke University Press.

Klimchuk M.R., Krasovec S.A. (2012), Packaging Design: Successful Product Branding from Concept to Shelf, Hobaken, John Wiley & Sons.

Kopytoff I. (1986) The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process, in A. Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things. Commodities in Cultural Perspective, 64-91, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Maxwell D.B. (1993), Beer Cans: A Guide for the Archaeologist, Historical Archaeology, 27: 95–113.

Pink S. (2006), The Future of Visual Anthropology. Engaging the Senses, London and New York, Routledge.

Ronnenberg H.W. (2016), Material Culture of Breweries, London and New York, Routledge.

Shanks M., Tilley C. (2004), Social Values, Social Constraints and Material Culture: The Design of Contemporary Beer Cans, in M. Shanks, C. Tilley (eds.), Re-Constructing Archaeology: Theory and Practice, 172-240, London and New York, Routledge.

Thurnell-Read T. (2014), Craft, tangibility and affect at work in the microbrewery,Emotion, Space and Society, 13: 46-54.

Wright L. (1976), The Beer Can: A Complete Guide to Beer Can Collecting, Matteson, The Great Lakes Living Press.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7413/22818138137


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary - Biannual - Edizioni Mimesis