Advertising Age, which named Barack Obama its Marketer of the Year in 2008, is digging through the Wikileaks DNC revelations and reporting on how Hillary Clinton is being managed as a corporate product. Suffice to say, this is not a small topic behind the scenes. Here’s a little snippet from a very long dialogue about the Klinton campaign’s logo design:
We have a gift in the Hillary Rodham Clinton brand because of massive recognition/awareness. Obama did not start with this. At the same time we must create a new, fresh view of that familiar brand in a truly authentic and compelling way.
To be clear, a logo can communicate and aid attribution of qualities, but it is not a proxy for the messaging of the campaign until they are relentlessly connected and delivered, repeatedly and consistently. That’s when brands take on meaning.
Rousing stuff, isn’t it? Our grandchildren will surely thank us for attending so diligently to the epoch’s burning core question of “when brands take on meaning.”
The New York Times frequently provides the valuable service of unintentionally tipping the hand of conventional (overclass) ideologies. Applying simple reason to the NYT‘s usual reportorial contortions, it is often possible to find important admissions of core brainwashing stratagems.
And so it is today regarding the core American political insistence that this is a “middle-class” society. Turns out that the experts in charge of managing this untruth are pretty keenly aware of their own bullshit:
“It used to be ‘middle class’ represented everyone, actually or in their aspirations, but now it doesn’t feel as attainable,” said David Madland, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Clinton campaign. [emphasis added]
The entirely logical reality is that, in the Times‘ phrasing, “[e]ven if families fall in the middle in income distribution, they cannot afford many of the necessities, much less the luxuries, traditionally associated with being middle class.”
The balance of the story reports on how politicians are now scrambling to coin new ways of refusing to talk realistically about social class while suggesting they actually care about the class fates of ordinary citizens.
But it is official: “Middle class” has always been a diversionary tactic, a way of using aspirations to prevent the truth from surfacing.
Politics in the United States is marketing. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, here comes Killary, as reported by The Washington Post:
Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew? As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers. Their job is to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace. In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the “H” in her future campaign logo.
“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist.