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Bandaid for Brand Obama


fastcompany2001In April 2008 Fast Company ran the article, ‘A Brand Called Obama‘.

The article is long, waxing about Obama’s star-power. It quotes Keith Reinhard of ad agency DDB Worldwide, “Barack Obama is three things you want in a brand: New, different, and attractive. That’s as good as it gets.”

This is not an opinion editorial – but brand Obama is tailspinning faster than that of Blackberry or JCPenney.

Slightly over six years later it’s easy to go back and read this article with a different perspective than when it was written. Just the same there’s no shortage of irony within the words written.

Of particular note are:

  • “There is a new, authoritative consumer empowered by the Web. And they can smell a fake.” A quote by Karen Scholl, Resource Interactive, a digital ad agency.
  • ‘Obama has deftly embraced — and been embraced by — the Internet.’
  • ‘The campaign’s Web site is “far more dynamic than any of the others,” says Bentley College professor Christine Williams, who has been studying Web sites and social media in campaigns.’

Today Brand Obama is reeling from the repercussions of trading deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban thugs. Last week it was the Veteran’s Administration. The Affordable Health Care Act rollout has not been pretty.

If a corporate CEO had a run of missteps remotely close to that of Mr. Obama – they’d be shown the door faster than you can say pink slip.

Mr. Obama, take some advice from a brand guy, bring in the smart folks that ran your brand before you were elected. They might be the bandaid needed to help us all get through the next two plus years.

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