Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of political branding

The Denver Post has an article up today on political branding of candidates. You know, like when you read a phrase like "Sweatshop Schaffer" that some obnoxious bloggers repeat ad naseum. Or as Denver Post reporter Michael Riley notes,

Take this recent example from Dick Wadhams, the campaign manager for Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer:

"We do look forward to when Boulder liberal Udall has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Colorado for Boulder liberal Udall to defend Sen. Reid's involvement with Abramoff."

In another conversation with a reporter from Politico.com last month, Wadhams used the term "Boulder liberal" to refer to Schaffer's Democratic opponent six times in under a minute...

Modern political campaigns are increasingly ruled by a single principle: "It's about repetition, a consistent message," said Rick Ritter [sic], a Denver political consultant who has worked for several prominent Democrats, including former presidential candidate Howard Dean.

"The average voter thinks about politics about 10 or 15 minutes in a given year," Ritter [sic] said. "You have a nanosecond to communicate to them."

[editors note: That's actually Rick Ridder, not Ritter.]

I don't think there's anything in the Post article that would be news to politico's but it's interesting to see this story appear on the same day as this one,

Democrats heard something familiar today in that new theme emerging from House Republicans: “The Change You Deserve.”

Turns out that slogan is also used to market an antidepressant, which Democrats quickly lampooned as reflecting the Republican mood at the moment.

“We were alarmed by the slogan for the minority caucus’s re-branding campaign, for it directly _ though probably inadvertently _ addresses the depressed opportunities House Republicans might be feeling of late,” said a post at Bluestemprairie.com.

Everyone knows how important branding is in today's modern political world. That House Republicans would choose to brand themselves with the same slogan as the anti-depressant Effexor is eye-opening. Is anyone at the National Republican Congressional Committee paying attention to these things? Branding does indeed matter and despite what they say there is no way that the NRCC can be pleased that they are framing themselves with a well known anti-depressant. How does something like that happen? Choosing a brand is not a quick process, presumably there were meetings on this and other options available. No one bothered to run a google search on this before rolling it out?

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