Rebranding Fail

Remember the ‘O’ brand that our president used to get elected?It looked like this :

Genius.  Pure marketing Genius.  Remember how his patriotism was challenged in the primary?  The symbol is in the shape of an “O” for “Obama.” There is the sky and farmland, in the colors of the flag.  The farmland is slight hill.  Behind the farmland is the open “O”, and if you look at the gradient part of the blue, it forms a triangle around it –  the shape of a mountain.  There is movement from one side to another.  Compare the symbol to the words “O beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountains majesty…”  This symbol links Obama with all that is good and patriotic in America.  Who is he?  He is for “Hope and Change”  – which both must be good things, because we all like to hope, and at the time, it was agreed we needed change.  He was the change we sought.

At the same time, the Republican symbol was this :

That elephant isn’t moving.  It is patriotic, of course, but the star-field “hat” covers the elephants eyes.  It is a blind, immobile thing.  The trunk is curled, but it is so uniform it looks as if it could not uncurl if its life depended on it.  It represents solidity, stasis.  Quite frankly, no wonder they got creamed.

Obama discovered the power of image.  Not only his image – and his detractors have said that is all there ever was to him was image, which is grossly unfair to him, in my opinion -but of an image to transform the way we think.   (The church used to understand this as well, but… OK so that’s a separate post.)

Anyway, the GOP is not the Rebrand fail of which my title speaks.  That award goes to the Democrats, who yesterday unveiled a new image :

This is an absolute fail.  It goes back ward in time with the slogan, and grammatically causes confusion (We already had change, didn’t we?  Wouldn’t change be the other party?  So, should we change from the democrats, or change to them?  But we can’t change to them, they are already there.  So, what should we change?) Remember how I said that the Elephant wasn’t moving.  Neither is that circle.  Or rather, “O” which stands for Obama – whose approval has been underwater for months.  While it is technically read white and blue, there is no other reference to the flag.  Remember Obama’s Amber waves of grain?  The Repub’s blinding star-field hat?  Where are the stars and stripes?  What does this say?  We are for change that isn’t even American.  France has the same colors, maybe we are french.  The font is a serif font without any movement at all.  It’s almost as if I designed this.  I freely admit myself to be the world’s worst graphic artist.  They have a Big “D” circled.  I got a few of those in my academic career.  My parents weren’t thrilled.

What I’m saying is that this “rebrand” is a huge fail, a stumble right out of the gate.  In fact, I think the horse (or perhaps donkey) died on the way to the gate.  This is terrible.  If I were a Republican Strategist, I would be very happy with this.  It tells America all the things that Republicans are trying to say.  I would include this image in an ad that talks about failed European socialist economic and immigration policies.  “This is not an American Organization, it is a foreign one.  Just look at their symbol!”  That is the message I would have the ad send.  This image is not only a rebrand fail, but it could actually be harmful to the brand.  It is a double fail.

The power of image is not to be dismissed.  A lesson for those in the church.


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