Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Obama Brand

"If a man can make a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to his door", this little quote, which is, I think, attributed to the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, is not completely true in its contention and, while I am tempted to think that the new iMac would not be a complete failure even without 'Apple's' wonderful marketing of the product, we cannot underestimate the role that marketing plays. Yes, it is safe to say that the product has long since been dethroned and that it is marketing and advertising that holds court. That brings me to a little story that a German friend told me at dinner recently.
Jürgen works for a German company called 'Linde' and, if you know 'Linde', you will know that they make excellent products. Anyway, Jürgen, who works in Sales, was telling me that while their product is excellent, they could learn a lot from the Anglo-Saxons when it comes to selling. That positive praise for the Anglo-Saxons was though somewhat tempered by him going on to say that he has watched super presentations being given by American and Brits only to discover later that the actual content of the presentation was hot air and when it came to delivering the goods according to the promised conditions at a later date ..... anyway, you get the gist, and there was me thinking back to my time working in advertising and telling a client that our magazine had a circulation of 20,000 when in actual fact the figure was much closer to 2,000.
One hundred and a couple of days into the "hype" man's term in office and the loquacious, "pull the wool over our eyes" verbal skills of America's marketing men has never been more obvious and here we have an administration that has excused torture, sent more of its young men to kill and be killed in an illegal war, conned the international community into propping up "Uncle Sam's" IMF and World Bank.... but really, I have to get to the point and, the point is; this "hope and change" sell is so absurd, such drivel, such a lie that you begin to realise these people could market condoms in the Vatican, ice on Greenland or whisky in Saudi Arabia and when the dead come home from the Hindukush, the "hype" man might be asked to stand up and say a few words on how they had not died deaths in vain and how the war in terror has to be won etc. etc. The world is still waiting on a "better mousetrap" and in the meantime the "Obama" brand holds court.

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