Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trademarks in politics-->

from BusinessWeek:

It's not as if the 42nd President is ignorant of the power of branding in politics. At the Promax/BDA promotion conference in New York a year ago, one of his speaking gigs, Clinton said he lost the "battle of branding" to the Republicans during his Administration. "[The Republicans] were brilliant at branding. They said they were about values…Everybody is a values voter, but they got the brand…they said they were against the death tax…God, what a great brand." The former President went on: "I did a disservice to the American people not by putting forth a bad plan, but by not being a better brander, not being able to explain it better."

"He does get it…the Bill-as-a-brand thing," says one longtime friend and adviser of the Clintons who has also worked for corporations on branding strategy. "If it seemed at times on the campaign trail with Hillary that he was getting too down and dirty, too retail, for a former President, it's because he never dreamed Hillary wouldn't get the nomination, so he never thought he'd look bad doing it if she won," said the adviser. It's very difficult to get Clinton campaign aides and those who move in Clinton's circles to talk about their image problem right now on the record.

Bill Clinton is not just a former President, but a huge enterprise in a way that no former U.S. President has touched. The money machine has put more than $100 million into both Clintons' pockets since 2001 and billions of dollars into the William J. Clinton Foundation (some in the form of future commitments from corporations and banks). Its core is the former President's popularity and his ability to engage and command huge audiences at extravagant prices. It is that enterprise that some Democratic strategists say will keep Hillary Clinton from being Obama's running mate.

When one hears --Everybody is a values voter--, Clinton is talking about a quality of the CONSUMER. it sounds like "detergents of the 1950"s", all of which were the same, and which was a quality of the PRODUCT. Lots of advertising going on to convince consumers that similar products were somehow different. So, when Clinton is talking about "branding", is he saying that truly different products (Dems vs. Reps) should have been "packaged" by the Dems to align more with the apparent tastes of the consumer?

A "likelihood of confusion" issue in that a different product is made to appear "sort of the same (but a little better)" rather than
having similar products made to appear to be different, or the more traditional "inferior product labelled as better product."


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