Icon of marketing



IPA 44 Club hosted a talk last night by Ian Leslie, on the success of Obama’s Presidential campaign as viewed from a marketing perspective. Fascinating stuff, it was, talking about how a new ‘product’ with an unusual ‘brand name’ entered into intensely fought ‘category’ and positioned itself against higher ideals (change, hope, unity) to fight a well-known, established competitior (Brand Clinton, then McCain)… You get the picture, and I couldn’t hope to explain the whole thing here. Much better to check out Leslie’s work for yourself: he has a book (To Be President), a blog, and is doing more than one of these talks.

One bit that I enjoyed was a brief mention of Obama’s iconography. Hope, America, and brand Obama all rolled into one symbol. A shortcut, if you like, to something which would otherwise require more lengthy explanation. (Which is what a brand should be, is it not?) Where previous candidates simply wrote their full name on a blue background next to a flag, Obama achieved something more meaningful.

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