A branding trick works if it gives people “the feels.” Obama was great at branding (if at little else). Remember the photo where the soles of his shoes had holes in them? Yes, totally staged, totally fake, but who cares? His audience swooned. Or remember the photo with the little black boy touching Obama’s hair? It’s an iconic, once in a lifetime image that will go into the textbooks. Again, it doesn’t matter that it’s staged. It made people put the image on their desktops as background because they liked how it made them feel.
Same with Trump’s walk through Lafayette Park last week. I’m not interested in partisanship right now. I’m discussing the matter strictly from the point of view of branding. Hope and change was a genius slogan. MAGA is complete branding genius “Feel the Bern” was genius, too.
Of course, politics is all about projecting an image and seeking photo-ops. So saying that what the Dem leaders did yesterday or Trump did in front of the church last week is a photo-op is kind of a pathetic statement. Obviously, it is. The only question here if it’s had an effect. Are the supporters (and mind you, this is addressed to those who already buy into the brand) feeling elated, excited, enthused about it? That’s the only thing that matters in branding. I’m no longer part of the left so I have no idea how the people there reacted to the Kente Kneelers. Did they get emotional? That’s all that matters. I’m not seeing why anybody would but I’m not the target audience any more.
I happen to be very curious about branding, and it’s interesting to me that many people have no idea how branding works or how powerful it is.