Presidential Branding

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After Wednesday night’s GOP debate, it is safe to say this presidential race is going to be interesting, entertaining, and quite confusing. With 16 republican candidates and five democratic candidates in the running, these politicians are really going to have to set themselves apart.

What does this have to do with marketing and advertising you ask? EVERYTHING

Imagine you were having to choose between 21 brands of toothpaste. You want to know which ones fight plaque and which ones whiten teeth but let's be real… nothing is going to draw you to them without good branding. If it didn't have catchy packaging or a strong, credible brand, you probably wouldn't look twice at that toothpaste.

Flashback to 1952 when Dwight D. Eisenhower launched his  I Like Ike campaign. This was the first time a political video was ever put on television. The ad was created by Disney and is cute and ridiculously catchy. Is this what caused Eisenhower to win the presidency? Who can really say… but it sure was memorable.

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Flash forward to 2008 and Barak Obama’s "Hope" posters. Designed by an artist named Shepard Fairey, these images were powerful, creative and resonated with people during a time where everyone was looking for "change". These posters quickly became the icon for Obama’s campaign and they are still recognized today

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When Hillary Clinton released her new logo this political season, followers and design experts alike were not feeling it, this probably effected the way Hillary was viewed for a little bit. Our own Arsalan Lutfi even felt moved to help Hillary out and try his hand at a new logo.

Branding is the key factor in setting the tone for a political campaign. Presidential candidates need to remember to brand themselves strongly from the get-go, not only to help them get votes, but to make sure their campaign is remembered.

Let’s see who will emerge in this election, not just for substance, but for how they can use branding to effectively represent what they stand for.