Obama's Brand

One of the things that has been nothing short of phenomenal in the Obama campaign, is the marketing of his brand. That's not a negative compliment at all either. I've an under-graduate degree in marketing, so even if I might be seeming to be giving an underhanded compliment to a marketing scheme or scam, that's really the acknowledgment akin to saying its damn good. I know the value it ads to any business product, and one of the things I try to practice is bringing business expertise into the political arena (like Salesforce), so I view the huge amount of success that Obama has had with going through the branding phase of the campaign as more than just an exercise.

Finding the logo for the campaign traditionally seems to fall in the lap of the campaign's direct mail firm, and given we've a few firms that all the campaigns share, they tend to all look alike.  When I worked on Mark Warner's PAC, one of the things I did was drive the search for the 'mark' that would be used for branding Forward Together (used in the left of this banner). Luckily I was able to go outside of DC and found a small Virginia branding firm that did a good job. It's a time-consuming and much-needed process, and Obama's is an example for consultants like myself to point to as how to do it right. He turned to a pro, Chicago-based branding firm Sender, and they turned it on.

There's a couple of articles to read on that that came out this week. Andrew Romano's Expertinent column, and Karrie Jacobs, May the best logo win.

From Jacobs:

"You can't walk away from the red, white and blue completely," argues Sol Sender, the company's president, "so what can you do that's new and fresh?" Sender's team came up with a white sunrise against a blue sky, over a landscape implied by red and white stripes. Sender labels it a symbol of "hope." Indeed, it seems to be an allusion to Ronald Reagan's effective 1984 slogan: "It's morning in America." It also recalls the Japanese rising sun and, more interestingly, has a strong graphic kinship with the state flag of Arizona, home state of Republican front-runner John McCain.
Those are all good, but she missed the one that Obama's is most directly compared with-- McGovern's "Here comes the Sun" '72 campaign logo that was put on his campaign posters. You can view the image in black and white. This is from a PDF I have about McGovern's campaign, but I've also come across it in a book about the campaign. Posters were huge in the McGovern campaign. They distributed over a million of them, so there must be some of these in color still around. But you can bet that McGovern's posters didn't stick to the red-white-blue mantra.

"Obama's sunrise speaks eloquently of "change." McCain's star and bar shout warrior."

This would be the war.

Update [2008-2-28 11:27:33 by Jerome Armstrong]: Here's something for anyone that wants to give it a shot at developing a logo for Scott Kleeb. He's having a contest, and asking for graphic designers out there to take a pass at designing one for this campaign.

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)




I know it took a lot of effort, but I wanted to welcome you back to respectable non-distorted blogging.  Now if only we can get Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to treat Obama fairly.

by jalby 2008-02-28 01:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Congratulations.....

I second this emotion.  I look forward to the day when you reassess the movement aspect of what Obama's campaign has brought to the American public.  I don't think it is all Obama's doing, certainly MoveOn and the more amorphous "netroots" has been key in changing the American psyche about activists politics, but when Obama is able to get 1 million people to donate, I don't find it surprising the Courage Campaign was able to successfully put together an effort through on-line signatures and donations to get the LA County votes counted.  I think it's clear that this "movement" which worried so many as being personality driven could become something much bigger and more powerful than this one campaign.

by Piuma 2008-02-28 02:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

Except she has done nothing to prove she can get anything passed in the senate.  She couldn't get Healthcare passed when BILL was President and we controlled both chambers.  It isn't her or her ideas, its her methods.  Obama tries to empower his supporters.  Hillary's volunteers have been complaining that the campaign is misusing them.  They have to take orders in a top down structure, where as Obama's supporters don't have that liability.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

[[deleted angry sillyness]]

All promises are. Get organized. Electing your candidate on your issue for your reason isnt going to happen. The center left, the Democratic party and its allies, who include for example Berine Snaders who is not a Democrat, are a coalition. Some peole fight for peace, and nothing will stop them and nothing else is important, some fight for womens rights and consider it central to any refrom or change, some fight for racial equity and cannot fathom how we don't understand that it underlies all forms of repression and forms the basis of economic system, some fight for universal healthcare because it is so damn sensible and fair and humane to treat every single human being as they had a right to health.

I agree with them all, and its hard to find faukt with a single argument.

Finding that single candidate, program and a majority coalition capable of putting it all into effect is difficult and far FAR TOO DAMN OFTEN it is impossible.

Coming as close as we are now is exciting gratifying and worrying. (see my diary)

Organize!!! You are not being asked your opinion for gods sake you are being asked to build the largest most successful coalition possible. Discussion about which candidate might move three degrees here but four there and 27 degrees too far that way, but they are discussions about choosing a candidate and forming alliances.

The supreme court, waging war, destructive debt, Katrina, school closings, bankrupt homes, corruption, racism, the destruction of the United Nations, climate change, fair trade, NAFTA, rights  under attack, imprisoning women for abortions, the war on poverty(sufferers)

All these issues have to be addressed, and each has an argument for why it is central.

Your job is not just -which one will do this or that, but organizing the popular will to demand that your issue is dealt with appropriately. I would you also work with other members of this grand coalition to insure victory on all.

by inexile 2008-02-28 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

Carefully Crafting the Obama 'brand' -
Chicago Tribune, June 2007

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/news/articl e/42551/carefully-crafting-the-obama-bra nd/

After his 2004 election, Obama declared he wouldn't run for president in 2008.
But then he allowed Hollywood PR and marketing strategists to change his mind...

by annefrank 2008-02-28 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

Oh no! What a flip-flopper he is!!!

by marcotom 2008-02-28 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

"After his 2004 election, Obama declared he wouldn't run for president in 2008.
But then he allowed Hollywood PR and marketing strategists to change his mind..."

And thank GOD they did! We will take the White House, win a real majority in both houses, and add one or two good Supreme Court justices.  

by fugazi 2008-02-28 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Both Obama and Hillary would represent change

Obama told the canadians in advance to ignore his NAFTA comments. What a demogauge. Here is the link.


by indydem99 2008-02-28 06:18AM | 0 recs
'It Didn't Happen'

"It didn't happen," said Roy Norton, who heads up the congressional, public and intergovernmental affairs portfolio for the Canadian embassy.

ABC News

by JoeCoaster 2008-02-28 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: 'It Didn't Happen'

Canadian government is embarrassed. Wait for CTV to come back with further reporting. The ambassador did not contradict the report

by indydem99 2008-02-28 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Congratulations.....

Smarmy gloating, wow what a big help you are.

You jalby could learn a great deal about how to act professionally from this post. In fact how to act like a mature adult.

You could now attack me if you like.

But our job is to organize and elect the centre left.

by inexile 2008-02-28 02:54AM | 0 recs
The Obama sun

The Obama sun surely does herald the meme that it's a new day, and this is coming from a Hillary supporter. When one considers Obama's campaign in toto, including his speeches, his web site design, his campaign posters and his supporter-designed artwork, one comes away with one thing: Obama's public image is very heavily guarded, tended and shepherded. When I compare Obama's brand to Hillary's, I can't help but come away with the idea of slick v. conventional, interactive v. conventional, new v. conventional. This is not to say that conventional does not work, but in Obama's case, slick, interactive and new have helped him considerably in carving out a very sizable niche in the electorate.

But does Obama's brand work on large states? We have yet to see that. When I think of the workers in the Rust Belt corridor, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas, the exuberance of Obama's branding fails to effect any real feeling of potential change but instead is derided as representative of inexperience and smoke-and-mirrors. Smaller states with diverse classes of people have been more accepting of Obama's branding because of the disproportionate influence of the upper middle-class who appreciate Obama's change message. Connecticut in the east and Colorado in the west come to mind here.

Working-class and middle-class people appreciate conventionalism because they show up for work at the same time everyday, week in and week out. Hillary's campaign banked on conventionalism but did not plan for, especially in Iowa, the influence of the change message flowering among the upper classes and flowing down to the working class and middle class (her base). When Hillary wins Ohio and Texas, which she will (no matter how narrowly), the question will then be how can she prevent her base from being overtaken by Obama's change message. Will she change her brand (probably too late) or will she hope that her message continues to hold among the people she needs to reach?

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-02-28 02:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The Obama sun

Smaller states with diverse classes of people have been more accepting of Obama's branding because of the disproportionate influence of the upper middle-class who appreciate Obama's change message.

So why Virginia? And Maryland? And Washington D.C.? All three places, once combined, have a population larger than, or as big as, the state of Ohio. But this wouldn't fit your "Trust Fund Babies for Obama" meme. And lets face another fact; when people say Obama does poorly amongst the working and middle classes, they are saying amongst the WHITE working and middle classes  Cause he's obviously appealed across class lines amongst African American's. But we don't count those, cause hey, we all know why they vote for him ::wink wink:: ::nudge nudge::.

Working-class and middle-class people appreciate conventionalism because they show up for work at the same time everyday, week in and week out.

Really? I don't know whats more absurd, the idea that being working-class or middle class means your just up and sign up for the tried and true, or the fact that someone thinks that Clinton still has some sort of lead in this area considering her "base" in all said demographics have eroded since the Potomac Primary. The fact that Bill has made this point over and over again, online supporters keep insisting that Obama has not somehow cracked the magical nut of Hillary's "base" (which she never had a statistical death grip on anyways).

by Sean Siberio 2008-02-28 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's web site is what we would call

Wow, thanks for sharing your opinion. Or spewing your hate, whatever it is. I think your analysis is factually inaccurate though, there is as much content and information on the site as one could wish for. What exactly are you missing?

by marcotom 2008-02-28 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The Obama sun

"Virginia? And Maryland? And Washington D.C."

I heard that over 40% of the Democrats voting in MD were earning over $100K. Fairfax County in VA is the richest county in the country.

There is nothing average about this place and its democratic voters.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-02-28 06:42AM | 0 recs
As opposed

to Missouri or Wisconsin....

by fladem 2008-02-28 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The Obama sun

Yet Obama won every congressional district in VA aside from the poorest region, in the southwest.  There's no denying the wealth in Fairfax or the fact that Clinton has so far outperformed Obama among voters earning less than $50,000.  Nevertheless, his huge victory in Virginia entailed strong margins among voters in most demographics.

by deminva 2008-02-28 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: The Obama sun

I like how you conveniently left out D.C., for the same reason why everyone else throws out every single caucus or primary that involves black people, regardless if he's cutting across them in all class brackets. Cause we all know why they're voting for him ::wink wink:: ::nudge nudge:: As Dick Gregory put it the other day at the Black Union: "I was fine when Bill Clinton was saying he was the first black president when he was just playin'"

As for Fairfax county, its a true enough point. But it still doesn't jive with the exit poll numbers that he still beat her under 50K, in union households, and in just about every other slice. So it seems he won the upper and lower income voters, and while most union members in each respective state come from rather highpaying, Federal jobs, it does say something about his appeal.

And are you seriously telling me that Clinton is some sort of working class hero? With 2300 dollars fundraiser dinners? Really? Let's be honest here; no one who runs for President, though they might have been working class or middle class growing up, is some sort of struggler to pay the bills NOW. The Senate and House salaries, plus guaranteed pension, assures you that you will be on the high side of the American tax brackets for the rest of your life.

by Sean Siberio 2008-02-28 06:10PM | 0 recs

Both Lame and devoid of factual accuracy.

Obama's site has detailed information on all of his policy positions.

And he is more progressive/liberal on the issues than Hillary Clinton any day of the week.

You want to try and tell me that a card carrying member of the DLC is somehow progressive, you're welcome to try.

by John in Chicago 2008-02-28 06:49AM | 0 recs
Just Because...

A group of voters (especially a Democratic group of voters) has shown an inclination to vote for Hillary over Obama, doesn't mean that Obama won't be able to appeal to them over McCain in the fall.  This is the same kind of thinking that says that because Obama lost CA and NY in the primary, that he might be in danger of losing them in the Fall.  It's ridiculous.

by Brillobreaks 2008-02-28 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's appeal

Slightly off topic but just about linked- it's about Obama's appeal. Today, the Head of the UK Equalities public body has accused Obama of exploiting the racial divide and delaying the onset of a post-racial America. Whites are only voting for him because of 'slavery guilt' according to Mr Phillips. He likens Obama to Winfrey or Cosby as blacks who are 'tolerated but don't change anything.'

I find his comments ill-informed and ignorant but I thought they may be of interest:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/us_and_americas/us_elections/article 3451323.ece

by e8voice 2008-02-28 02:40AM | 0 recs
International right wing is on side too.

You mean a right wing paper in England can attack Obama too? That is so surprising.

Hmmm who would have thought.

by inexile 2008-02-28 02:48AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

No, it's actually reporting an article which is about to appear in a progressive magazine called Prospect. Trevor Phillips is on the moderate left of British politics and he is a significant public figure.

by e8voice 2008-02-28 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

The Times is the main right paper, and the topic of multi-culturalism is a bane to the author cited. He has been campaigning against it for some time. Intersted readers can look him up. Here is a quote from the wikipedia:

Multiculturalism: disagreements with Ken Livingstone

In 2006 the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone criticised Phillips views on multiculturalism stating Phillips was "pandering to the right" so much that the black chairman of the CRE "would soon join the BNP".[3] Phillips himself replied that his views had been "well documented" and "well supported". Phillips has made speeches stating that "it was right to ask hard questions about multicultural Britain". Although he appologised for his misuse of statistics on levels of segregation he welcomed the focus on integration of different communities after the launch of A Commission for Integration and Cohesion.[4]

So you can put his criticism in the context of his  own local struggle against multiculturalism.

by inexile 2008-02-28 03:00AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

To be clear, I am not attacking the author so much as puitting his 'criticism' in context of his long term goal of fighting multiculturalism and promoting assimilation.

However one looks at that debate, that is the context of his writing.

by inexile 2008-02-28 03:06AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

As a Brit who occasionally reads 'The Times', I think it is unfair to characterise it as 'right wing'.  It isn't particularly ideological.

by Illustrious 2008-02-28 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

Yes, that's right. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail are the main right-wing papers but that's by the by.

On reading the full article (which is here: http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/artic le_details.php?id=10043) the problem that Phillips is having is that he sees Obama and US politics purely through the prism of race.

It's also strange that Phillips seems to be insisting on the continuation of racial struggle in the US but assimiliation in the UK! Help me out here...

by e8voice 2008-02-28 03:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Yup..

You sit in a huge room with hundreds of other people, some of them bleeding and children crying, then gradually, you get seen in small one or two minute chunks. Its a deliberately humiliating experience that impresses on you the fact that you are dirt and that society wants you to lose your job.

How is that a different experience from going to a hospital not for free?  About 6 months ago, I had a huge stone that was blocking my left kidney.  I went to the hospital in incredible amounts of pain and despite having perfectly good insurance and a good job, I too had to sit in a room with hundreds of other people and waited for 3 hours until someone could help me.  What message were they trying to send me?

by thezzyzx 2008-02-28 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

It has had a turbulent history we can all agree, but after it was bought by (FoxNews, NewsCorp.)Murdoch it had a period when it was literally banned from Labour Party events, and while they have many good writers, it was and is the paper of record for the business set.

by inexile 2008-02-28 03:30AM | 0 recs
About The Times

The Times is a key "mainstream news insertion vehicle" for Rupert Murdoch when there's a wingnut story that needs telling in the U.S.

Here's a typical path to mindshare:

Drudge -> Times -> CNN -> New York Times

British readers don't care because, to most, it's just some obscure bit of U.S. political news. But outlets like CNN actually take such articles seriously, because the Murdoch-owned Times is supposedly "respectable." Meanwhile, if the Guardian prints it, CNN and all the rest of the major U.S. news outlets ignore it.

by BBCWatcher 2008-02-28 04:10AM | 0 recs
Re: International right wing is on side too.

So can a left wing Canadian newscast...this is worrisome...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LtbLEKHs i0

by americanincanada 2008-02-28 06:23AM | 0 recs
Obama's Brand Master

I was largely dismissive of marketing (through ignorance) until I went to Northwestern and learned about the importance of branding and marketing.  Great ideas/products/candidates have to be marketed effectively to get anywhere at a mass level.  

Another Axelrod pimp comment.  It was AKP&D that hired Sender.  Here's an interesting comparison from a 2007 NYT profile of Axelrod:

There are a variety of problems of political communication that the industry's operatives spend their time obsessing over.  One, which obsessed James Carville, is persuasion: How do you persuade people who believe one thing to believe another?  A second, the big one for Joe Trippi, is commitment: What motivates your party's loyalists to go to the polls in larger numbers?  But Axelrod has become animated by a more basic challenge of political communication, the problem of breaking through, of sounding different and new.  Axelrod says that the way to cut through all the noise is to see campaigns as an author might, to understand that you need not just ideas but also a credible and authentic character, a distinct politics rooted in personality. ("David breaks them down," Peter Giangreco, a Chicago direct-mail consultant who often works with Axelrod, told me. "Who is your mother? Who is your father? Why are you doing this?")  This, Axelrod says, is what Karl Rove understood about George W. Bush. "One of the reasons Bush has succeeded in two elections," Axelrod says, "is that in his own rough-hewn way he has conveyed a sense of this is who I am, warts and all."  For Obama, because of Senator Hillary Clinton's far-greater experience and establishment backing, this is a particularly essential project. "If we run a conventional campaign and look like a conventional candidacy, we lose," Axelrod says.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/magazi ne/01axelrod.t.html

by mboehm 2008-02-28 02:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Good article. This is something that a lot of candidates and campaigns should read, and then take to heart.

There are a lot of really creative young people and lots of creative class supporters in the centre left. They need to be consulted early and respected.

Branding, consistency and professionalism are vital to any campaign. Find what you can afford, and ask for help from creative types. If   you are a creative type, help like this can be a boon to your career,  and doesn't cost a damn thing, you could donate thousands of dollars, tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars to a campaign that won't cost you a cent.

The presentation is as important as the content in a campaign. Consistency matters. Once you have picked the look --Stay With It!!

And as I am further left than most here, I'm not talking about loosing or hiding the content of your message. In fact I think leading in a progressive manner now will be your best bet.

Thanks Jerome.

by inexile 2008-02-28 02:43AM | 0 recs
Harold Washington

also had a sun logo. Here's a link to a picture of the button. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.o rg/pages/6360.html

by Jeff Wegerson 2008-02-28 02:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

I await the attacks from the same people praising you up stream when you say something criticizing him on some point.

by bruh21 2008-02-28 03:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

I await people trying to help elect a centre -left government.

I reserve the right to applaud and boo when appropriate.

I will try to keep my eye on the goal of not dropping the ball.

On the left, as you might like to learn, we have a phrase: "Don't mourn, organize."

by inexile 2008-02-28 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Most of Obama's supporters here  have two modes-- something praising Obama- great and wonderful "welcome aboard the bus" or criticize Obama so attack the messenger, talk about Clinton even when the discussion isn'ta bout Clinton or distort what was said. "Appropriate" in this context seems a mangled campaign preztel rather any connection to long term governing truth.  If you look at my diary on the subject of who the real enemy is-McCain- I note the supporters who say they will vote for McCain if their Democratic candidate doesn't win. As I remember, those were Obama supporters. The problem with his "coalition" is that it is a marketing campaign (which by the way is similar to what the present MBA president does). Yes, it's effective. The question is does it produce lasting change or a center left government in the US? We shall see. I just think as I have said its deeply flawed. Advertisement is about giving people their desire, their fantasy, and not ultimately selling them on shared sacrifice which is what we will need in the days ahead.

by bruh21 2008-02-28 03:53AM | 0 recs
the branding has been impressive

particularly in getting hordes of young people to relate to Obama as the youth candidate.

I obviously know nothing about marketing, because I find the sunrise irritating and corporate-looking. Those "HOPE" yard signs everywhere with the sunrise O logo always made me wish someone would print up parodies that said HYPE.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-28 04:11AM | 0 recs
I Don't That Parody Would Work

It's hard to parody the "hope" theme. One reason is that there's no cause to be cynical about Obama, at least not yet. He hasn't disappointed anyone up to this point. And remember that a certain Clinton was the "Man from Hope," so that particular four letter word worked well for the master.

by BBCWatcher 2008-02-28 04:26AM | 0 recs
plenty of people are disappointed

for instance, by his vote for Bush's 2005 energy bill.

I direct your attention to this post:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/2/28/ 03219/9383

"A Skeptical Progressive Examines Obama's Record, concludes, 'Count Me Out.'"

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-28 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: plenty of people are disappointed

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: plenty of people are disappointed

True, but we are also disappointed with much of John Edwards senate record which was NOT progressive as well as Hillary's Bankruptcy and AUMF votes, among others.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: plenty of people are disappointed

As I said above, when confronted with Obama as Obama the three choice approaches by his supporters isn't to argue the situation on its merits. Your post is exhibit a for one of those approaches.

by bruh21 2008-02-28 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: plenty of people are disappointed

That's because contrary to the cultist/messiah/kool-aid drinking comments, most of us understand that Obama is a politician, that he isn't perfect, that he will disappoint, and that he will be wrong on some things.  

Try acknowledging it about your candidate, it's sorta fun.

by Brillobreaks 2008-02-28 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: plenty of people are disappointed

Actually I don't have a candidate. The candidate I had was Edwards, and I and nearly every one of his supporters said he was imperfect, which probably contributed to his not being an electric. Most of us looked at him on  more experienced emotional level. I had this conversation with a friend over dinner. Like me she's African American -- I know we are all s upppose to be at this point lock step behind Obama, but we just don't get it. But then, my friends are a subset of the black community- highly educated, not particularly religious (so his sermons aren't as effective on us), liberal, well versed in politics beyond what happens every 4 years, etc. For the record, as a black guy who is highly educated I find the hoopla over Obama bewildering. Honestly, he sounds like my preacher that I used to have down South growing up. Back to my friend, she says her mama says he reminds her of Oprah, and said "what's this mess." By the way- I liked that you assumed I had a candidate- I reinforces my belief that this is just al of tribal my team versus yours that is so endemic to American politics even as Obama pretends he wants to go post partisan.

by bruh21 2008-02-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

I'm embarassed to admit it, but I always saw the sunrise as a cool sunrise logo.  I completely missed that the it is actually a Big O as well with the sun as the center hole in the O.  Impressive.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:19AM | 0 recs
Marketing the Brand

I'd just echo what Jerome says in terms of brand marketing. Oliver Willis about 4 years ago started promoting "Brand Democrat," the concept that the Democratic Party ought to have a really smart, hip, and strongly typed brand image. And he (and several contributors) came up with some wonderful advertising messages and a common logo. Great stuff. I'm not sure why it's so hard to find the "Brand Democrat" collateral now. Anyone know where it went?

Fast forward 4 years later, and the Obama campaign is doing much the same thing. It's a great idea. Presidents must be effective communicators in order to advance their issue agendas. Ronald Reagan certainly understood that.

If Obama becomes the nominee, I'll be very interested to see how the "brand" -- and that's not quite the right word actually -- evolves and shifts. It's fascinating to watch.

by BBCWatcher 2008-02-28 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Marketing the Brand

A Deeper Look at Obama--and How Advertising Works


by Tennessean 2008-02-28 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

The Republicans aren't going to care about any of this.  Their goal will be to brand Obama as unfit and unprepared to be Commander in Chief.  They'll be doing it 24/7. Sunshine and lollipops won't help Obama at all.  

by Upstate Dem 2008-02-28 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Sure, they would do exactly the same thing to Clinton. Do you think America is stupid enough not to see through that?

by marcotom 2008-02-28 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

No America is stupid enough... but as long as he responds and doesn't let it fester ala Kerry and Gore, he will be fine.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

He was born in the Panama Canal Zone I believe, which would make him born on American controlled soil. Eitherway, children of military parents are natural born citizens regardless of whether their born in Japan, Germany, or South Korea so I don't think it'll be a big deal.

by Sean Siberio 2008-02-28 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand


That's interesting as that has never been challenged in court.  A 527 should sue over this once he is the official nominee.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

There's no Tootsie Roll at the center of that lollipop: McCain was born on a military installation to two natural-born US citizen parents. There's very little chance a court would rule against him, and if one did, it would set an earth-shaking precedent that would have effects felt in many other policy areas by many other US citizens.

by blueflorida 2008-02-28 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

True.. my guess is it would never happen.  But forcing McCain to spend that money would be good.  Especially if a 527 does it and Obama can then denounce them doing it.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-28 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

It has never been tested. It should be. It should not come from Obama. Obama should say that a soldier has a right to have children while stationed away, and that her children should not loose rights because she is serving her country. (or him)

by inexile 2008-02-28 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

My prediction is that regardless of whether it comes from Obama or not, the effect would be only to build sympathy for McCain and to allow him yet another forum for talking about his family's military service heritage and how much he has sacrificed for his country. On the legal merits, the case against McCain would be very difficult to win.

by blueflorida 2008-02-28 05:41AM | 0 recs
Is the Obama

campaign, the best run campaign in modern primary history?

The only campaign I can think of that is close is Carter's in '76.  

Having seen the Obama operation in Iowa, New Hampshire, as CT, I would have to say that it is.  I have never seen anything like it in the last 30 years.

by fladem 2008-02-28 05:36AM | 0 recs
We'll see

I'm just not sure what he can respond with.  So far his national security credentials boil down to the "superior judgement" he showed in one speech he made in 2002.  But the public expects the president to do things, not just talk. What has he done?  This isn't an attack.  I just see a huge problem for his campaign.

by Upstate Dem 2008-02-28 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: We'll see

Same applies to Clinton word by word. We will lose the experience contest anyways, and that is why we need to make it irrelevant and/or turn it on its head by saying that "experience" brought us into Irak and failed to capture Bin Laden.

by marcotom 2008-02-28 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: We'll see

Of course its an attack, and one that has increased with fever pitch as the S.S. Clinton has started to sink. Except its absurd. Hell, even McCain is more forthright about it than any of his supporters; if the war in Iraq goes badly, then he loses. His whole argument as to why its alright to stay there for 100 years hinges on the strategy being pursued by the Bush administration is correct, which I would find very suspicious of anyone posting on a Democratic website claiming its the right course of action.

The Bush administration and McCain have no clue what to do over there other than pursuing more of the same. He's not even faking Nixon's 72 argument of "ending the war with dignity". He's saying we are going to keep the massive levels of troops until the the cows (and the bodybags) come home.

by Sean Siberio 2008-02-28 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: What a Ridiculous Argument from the NYTimes

McCain's legitimacy to run for President? Give me a break.

A child born overseas is automatically a United States citizen if both parents are U.S. citizens.

In most cases the child is a citizen if one parent is a U.S. citizen.

(The parent who is a citizen must have been a U.S. citizen living in the United States for at least 10 years, five of which were after the age of 14.)

Years of military service count as years living in the United States regardless of where served. In each case, the State Department determines citizenship.

To establish a child's citizenship, the birth is reported to the nearest American consular office on the "Consular Report of Birth."

(Form FS-240, only one copy may be requested at the cost of $40.00) as soon after the birth as possible.

This report is prepared and filed by the parents; however, the physician or midwife attending the birth (or any other person having knowledge of the facts) can prepare the report.

The original document is filed with the Department of State, and the parents are given a copy of the report along with a short form showing the name and sex of the child and the date and place of birth. (This is called "Certificate of Birth," Form FS-545.)

http://www4.army.mil/outreach/gQuestions /

by Tennessean 2008-02-28 05:41AM | 0 recs
You are conflating

citizenship with the Consitutional Requirement that the President be born within the United States.

These are not the same things, and different legal standards would apply.

by fladem 2008-02-28 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: You are conflating

"No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

From wikipedia "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-bor n_citizen"

The requirements for citizenship and the very definition thereof have changed since the Constitution was ratified in 1788. Congress first extended citizenship to children born to U.S. parents overseas on March 26, 1790, under the first naturalization law: "And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens."

If the intent is to disenfranchise offspring of Military personnel, that won't make many allies.

by Rooktoven 2008-02-28 10:08AM | 0 recs
Just because someone

is in the military does not mean that the law does not somehow apply to them.

Here is the best discussion I can find on the legal issue, which would appear to cover McCain:

Clause 5. Qualifications

All Presidents since and including Martin Van Buren were born in the United States subsequent to the Declaration of Inde pendence. The only issue with regard to the qualifications set out in this clause, which appears to be susceptible of argument, is whether a child born abroad of American parents is ''a natural born citizen'' in the sense of the clause. Such a child is a citizen as a consequence of statute. 94 Whatever the term ''natural born'' means, it no doubt does not include a person who is ''naturalized.'' Thus, the answer to the question might be seen to turn on the interpretation of the first sentence of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, providing that ''[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States'' are citizens. 95 Significantly, however, Congress, in which a number of Framers sat, provided in the Naturalization act of 1790 that ''the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, . . . shall be considered as natural born citizens. . . .'' 96 This phrasing followed the literal terms of British statutes, beginning in 1350, under which persons born abroad, whose parents were both British subjects, would enjoy the same rights of inheritance as those born in England; beginning with laws in 1709 and 1731, these statutes expressly provided that such persons were natural-born subjects of the crown. 97 There is reason to believe, therefore, that the phrase includes persons who become citizens at birth by statute because of their status in being born abroad of American citizens. 98 Whether the Supreme Court would decide the issue should it ever arise in a ''case or controversy'' as well as how it might decide it can only be speculated about.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/const itution/article02/03.html#t98

by fladem 2008-02-28 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: What "superior judgment?"

He admits to making a "boneheaded" mistake by doing his real-estate deal on his mansion in Chicao with an indicted developer, Tony Rezko, whom everyone knew was indicted at the time.

Was that "superior judgment?"

He can't deny that he voted to support funding the Iraq War on every single funding vote that came after his 2002 speech, which, of course, was made when he knew he didn't have to cast a vote on it.

Dennis Kucinish was actually in the House and voted against the AUMF. And, he then voted AGAINST FUNDING BILLS on the Iraq War every time.

So, where is Barack Obama's "superior judgment" on those funding bills?!

The man is a con. Pure and simple.

He is campaigning right now against NAFTA. He voted to expand NAFTA under the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

And, now, it's come to light on Canadian News, that he actually contacted a Canadian Minister to tell them not to worry about his anti-NAFTA rhetoric; it's really not true; it's just a campaign pitch...

The guy is a CON MAN. You don't know what you're getting til you open the package on Christmas morning in November. And, you may find it's nothing but a lump o' coal.

What a joke. I can't believe people are so gullible. You have been propagandized by a manipulative marketing master. Congratulations: Welcome to Obamacult.

by Tennessean 2008-02-28 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: What "superior judgment?"

What exactly makes you think he is a con? You are an example of how uninformed people first react negatively to him and believe the Clinton/McCain talking points one-by-one. But the more you will find about him, the harder a time you will have to keep that claim up. Because it is not supported by facts at all.

by marcotom 2008-02-28 06:04AM | 0 recs
thanks for the description of the logo

I thought the blue arch was supposed to represent the "Obama wave" or something like that--not sure where I got that idea.

by techfidel 2008-02-28 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

I disagree with the optimism and the enthusiasm in the article.  Senator Clinton is a real candidate that has substance.  Senator McCain is an experienced leader.  

Obama is the product of Chicago politics.  They don't have lobbyists in Chicago; they just have nepotism and bribery.  

Don't put a red, white and blue background behind Obama.  He hasn't earned it.  There's very little about him that is American.  Put him in front of a white background with a green field, green banner, or a green crescent.  (Those are Muslim symbols.)

Obama's brand?  I'm not buying.

by fromwembleypark 2008-02-28 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Can anybody please remove this poster from this blog? Or is this where we are headed?

by marcotom 2008-02-28 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

There is a reason the black and the Hispanic community have admired Hillary Clinton and they should be reminded of that.  I consider Sen. Obama to be nothing but a product pushing a script.  This back and forth between McCain and Obama about Iraq really showed Obama's contempt of common sense.  Obama said that he would put our troops back into Iraq if Al Qaeda resurfaces.  McCain pointed out the fact that they are already there and once again Obama reiterates his 5 year old position.  I wish he would answer the question-since Al Qaeda is already there will we need to remain in Iraq?
All this talk about character of a man no one knows anything about is disingenuous in it's self.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/35382 9,CST-NWS-rez23.article
Obama and his Rezko ties
April 23, 2007
BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter/tnovak@suntimes.com
For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.
It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.
It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.
Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on.
"Senator Obama does not remember having conversations with Tony Rezko (inset) about properties that he owned" -- Obama's campaign staff on Sunday.

But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose district included the unheated building.
Obama has been friends with Rezko for 17 years. Rezko has been a political patron to Obama and many others, helping to raise millions of dollars for them through his own contributions and by hosting fund-raisers in his home.
Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers.
The building in Englewood was one of 30 Rezmar rehabbed in a series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers. Every project ran into financial difficulty. More than half went into foreclosure, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.
Eleven of Rezko's buildings were in Obama's state Senate district.

by brenmc 2008-02-28 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

A while ago on Sullivan's blog, he linked to some advertisers critiquing the logos of various candidates. To my knowledge these were just regular add people and not political add people.

The consensus on Obama's was that it was new and different, but that it looked like he was trying too hard. I can't remember who had the best, I think it might been Clinton.

by MNPundit 2008-02-28 06:54AM | 0 recs

I'm surprised that Jerome would have anything positive to say about Obama. Totally shocked.

by rapcetera 2008-02-28 06:56AM | 0 recs

Well he didn't actually say anything positive about Obama...he is impressed with the Obama's campaign  marketing skills.

Hint: When you repeatedly say something is not a backhanded complement...it is.

by JoeCoaster 2008-02-28 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

The discipline of the Obama campaign has been amazing. As Jerome points out, their professionalism has been paramount throughout.

It's clear that in some ways Obama is running a new-ish campaign -- web focused, small donors, the 50 state strategy. So much did Dean and many other progressive hopes that fell like a stone. I think in hindsight, though, it will become clear that the greatest strength of the campaign was that it combined these new tools with an old-fashioned, pre-modern campaign strategy: rallies, ground game, direct mail, phone banks.

Clinton's campaign worked within a paradigm we've all become familiar with: win the big states, shape the media narrative, lock up the big donors, present yourself as inevitable. Most of all, focus on demographics, demographics, demographics; who you are tells me who you will vote for. So many people have been elected to office with this strategy. Many more probably will be. But I think the Obama brand -- which emerges from a commitment to persuade people, to woo them as thinking, feeling people, and not simply to target them as sub-populations -- shows that there is a lot of life in the pre-CNN politics.

by EMTP democrat 2008-02-28 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Scott Kleeb logo

How about just a straight up head shot of the candidate with no logo or graphic?  The man is gorgeous...

by jarhead5536 2008-02-28 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Scott Kleeb logo

Well, for one thing, it'd make the yard signs and bumper stickers really expensive. :)

That's what TV commercials are for.

by Dave Sund 2008-02-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Scott Kleeb logo

I don't normally compliment other men, but yeah that is one good-looking guy, and that might be the best campaign photo Ive seen, the hat the shirt he sells modern west well. (The only other people I've seen to sell it that well weren't great looking but it didn't matter, Jon Tester and Brian Schweitzer in Motana both sell the "new west" brand extremely well).

Now I have a weekend project, too bad red is Repub, because a cornhusker tie-in would work well.

by Socraticsilence 2008-02-28 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Interesting article. It points out that Hillary's "logo" or brand just shores up the notion that she doesn't know who she is.

by Oregonian 2008-02-28 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Oh please.  If that's the case, the a million other politicians don't know who the heck they are.
by BrandingIron17 2008-02-28 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

The Canal Zone was US territory at the time.  Try something else.

by Rooktoven 2008-02-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
So basically

there's -nothing- original about Obama.  Thanks for pointing that out (and this comes from a professional logo designer).

BTW, logo design costs money.  I see that that guy and his contest = no $.  No thanks.

by BrandingIron17 2008-02-28 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand

Wow, I never would have guess that's a sun.  I just thought it was an "O" for Obama with a flag draped along the bottom.  Pretty cool.

by LanceS 2008-02-28 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Brand


You better double check ol Sol's quote here.

"He turned to a pro, Chicago-based branding firm Sender, and they turned it on."

Who is "he".  If Sol says it's Barack Obama's campaign, Sol might have some explaining to do.

by riverred 2008-02-28 01:58PM | 0 recs


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