Sunday, June 22, 2008

Obama unveils new logo with mixed results

I've mentioned in a previous post, the effectiveness of the Obama brand. No brand is immune to hiccups, Obama is no exception

Obama's controversial customised Presidential Seal
Photo credit: AP, White House. Image from CNN's Political Ticker

He has unveiled a new logo which has received mixed results.
Here are sample reactions from commenters on the New York Times blog. Some see the logo as innocuous whilst others are worried the brand may be overreaching.
4. June 20th, 2008. 3:55 pm
That is kind of weird but i could understand how these message gurus are carving out a great image. I just hope they don’t over do it.
— Posted by Bee

10. June 20th, 2008. 4:04 pm
A bit presumptuous isn’t it? Looks to me like Obama has delusions of grandeur! Can’t imagine why the eagle would have arrows since Obama would never think of using force. He’ll just talk the leaders of terrorist supporting countries to death.
— Posted by jschm

11. June 20th, 2008. 4:05 pm
Uh oh…. I can see his critics having a field day with this one….
— Posted by Mike..............Durham, NC
Read the full post from The New York Times blog "The Great Seal of Obamaland?"

As a graphic designer and someone involved in marketing. It seems to me the marketing department got a little overzealous. Often times designers get carried away and create superfluous designs because they like the branding language they've created so much. Other times they just feel like doing extra to charge a little extra. Obama's brand success has come from the balance of sophistication and simplicity in his messaging. Not unlike what Apple has achieved. The brand discipline seems to have escaped the Obama team here.

Below are posts examining the Obama brand closer. Including an insightful interview from the perspective of graphic designer Michael Bierut.

Expertinent: Why the Obama "Brand" Is Working

Is Obama's stuff on the level with the best commercial brand design?
I think it's just as good or better. I have sophisticated clients who pay me and other people well to try to keep them on the straight and narrow, and they have trouble getting everything set in the same typeface. And he seems to be able to do it in Cleveland and Cincinnati and Houston and San Antonio. Every time you look, all those signs are perfect. Graphic designers like me don't understand how it's happening. It's unprecedented and inconceivable to us. The people in the know are flabbergasted.

The Chicago Tribune traces how the Obama brand was crafted very early in his political life.
Carefully crafting the Obama 'brand'

Patric Ruffini has more - "The Marketing of the President in 2008"

Dan Herman provides insight on how the brand helps Obama in the short term, but more importantly in the long term. Ensuring that what might be seen as a fad converts into a robust and credible politican - Can Short-Term Brand "Candidate Obama" Transform Successfully Into Long-Term Brand "President Obama"?

Leslie Singer isn't convinced with the notion that Obama is already a brand.
Just because you are in the news, doesn't make you a brand. When you start changing the news, you are on your way. When you fulfill a promise that changes lives and impacts our culture in a way that resonates in the history books, then you are a brand. Anything less, you are a just a moment in time.
Read the full piece on the Comments section of this post

As quickly as the logo was revealed, it has disappeared just as swiftly. "Obama Campaign Drops Faux Presidential Seal"
Courtesy of AdAge

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