Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Campaign branding crux of political frontier

For much of the American public choosing a presidential candidate can be likened to a third grader in the cereal aisle; eventually they will just grab the box with the most memorable commercial.
In an age of massive social interconnectivity, political participation is saddening, and adequately informed participants are scant. Success necessitates that presidential hopefuls have an indelible image that will evoke trust and inspire advocacy, just as Cap’n Crunch must convince little Tommy that he does indeed want to be “crunchatized.”
Each candidate, or rather a contracted consulting firm and a multitude of staffers, will create their own personal brand. After announcing candidacy politicians become products, put on a shelf for all to mercilessly, and often irrationally, assess and select. While product quality might important, packaging can be paramount.
At the moment we have four official candidates; Clinton, Cruz, Paul, and Rubio. All of which have launched their campaigns with rousing speeches and logos that are designed to be emblematic of a vision for the future. So far, campaign imagery has been underwhelming.
Although Hillary Clinton says she wants to be our “champion” in 2016, her logo looks like a shortcut for Microsoft Word 97. Even though her announcement video seemed to galvanize some her core values, the last image viewers see is reminiscent of the loading screen for Minesweeper. Not exactly powerful imagery.
Comparatively, Rand Paul’s announcement video featured him as a red mad-men-style silhouette. While very chic, it does not exactly convey the right message.
The logo, which assuredly took liberties from the AMC series, is emblematic of a philandering alcoholic who is perpetually unprepared and constantly making rash decisions. Good luck convincing voters to give you eight seasons.
Marco Rubio’s “A New American Century” slogan has an appealing font, but someone should let him know that the new century started 15 years ago. However, Rubio seems to have made a smart play hanging back in the logo production.
Hopefully he doesn’t use Ted Cruz’s burning torch idea. Strikingly similar to a burning flag, his logo will not be beneficial unless the British do in fact come by land this time around.
Unfortunately, something as trivial as a logo can influence voters. Every facet of candidate’s brand will need to be focused, consistent, and charismatic. Candidate’s brands should aim to transcend logic and create a star spangled support group that will groundlessly defend their candidate.

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Campaign branding crux of political frontier