Monday, June 23, 2008

The Obama Brand

After recently clenching the Democratic nomination, Obama unveiled a new logo to open up the new route to the presidency. It would only make sense to make such a move- it seems as if they have figured out the formula to near perfect promotion. Although, the logo is brilliant- it brings a lot of questions to mind-

Aesthetically speaking the logo is great. Because the logo is a seal it speaks professionally but also recognizes the 21st century by keeping it fresh and contemporary- unlike previous campaigns where the logo spoke a monotonous vision with its cliché blues and reds. Although the seal is blue, it's not the piercing blue we have seen in the past- it's more of a soothing powerful blue. The fusion of both the Obama logo with our national seal speaks volumes. By meshing both worlds together he's implying that he is the face of America. He has branded himself.

The social implications of such a move are endless. Here are my dilemmas and questions that keep surfacing my thoughts lately. I realize that our capitalistic nation has created a nostalgic culture of consumerism- but does that mean that it's all right to throw the presidency into the advertising and marketing world? Is it ok to brand the presidency?

Does this mean that the Obama brand will be on billboards, magazines, and other random spots across cities? Will it be seen as much as we see the Nike logo, the Coca Cola logo or the Apple logo? And if that is the case does that mean that our nation has stepped into a new version of a 21st century Big Brother world? Is it appropriate to see the face of our leader as just another consumer product? Is it ok to be ok with having our leader’s brand placed so universally in our cities? Is it ok to overlook questionable ways of new presidential propaganda because we believe in our leader?

The transition between what we've seen in previous presidential campaigns and what we're seeing now is intensely interesting to watch and observe. What are the consequences of Obama's new tactics? What happens after the presidency has crossed into our consumer culture? If these moves prove to be successful- does that mean that future presidential campaigns will follow the same format? If that is the case does that mean that future campaigns will be properly packed with their one-of-a-kind logo? Will we be influenced enough to pick out our next president the same way we pick out a new pair of shoes, or coffee, or even a can of soda? Will Republicans be the next Coca-Cola and Democrats the next Pepsi?

I support Obama by all means but this entrance to the new way of looking at presidential campaigns scares me a bit. From what we've learned from years of figuring out social behavior- is it wrong to influence the public with the weapons of good design?

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