Unclear On The Concept

July 21st, 2007at 09:38am Posted by Eli

They still don’t get it.

In the advertising world, brand identity is everything. Volvo means safety. Colgate means clean. IPod means cool. But since the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003, its “show of force” brand has proved to have limited appeal to Iraqi consumers, according to a recent study commissioned by the U.S. military.

The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military operations around the world involves “shaping” both the product and the marketplace, and then establishing a new identity that places what you are selling in a positive light, said clinical psychologist Todd C. Helmus, the author of “Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation.” The 211-page study, for which the U.S. Joint Forces Command paid the Rand Corp. $400,000, was released this week.

Helmus and his co-authors concluded that the “force” brand, which the United States peddled for the first few years of the occupation, was doomed from the start and has lost ground to enemies’ competing brands. While not abandoning the more aggressive elements of warfare, the report suggested, a more attractive brand for the Iraqi people might have been “We will help you.” That is what President Bush’s new Iraq strategy is striving for as it focuses on establishing a protective U.S. troop presence in Baghdad neighborhoods, training Iraq’s security forces, and encouraging the central and local governments to take the lead in making things better.

Now, I will freely admit that I’m no marketing expert, but I would bet that one of the reasons the Volvo, Colgate, and iPod brands are so successful is that THEY DON’T SHOOT AT THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I would also add that their customers are free to select them, or not, rather than being forced to at gunpoint.

It’s kinda scary (and unsurprising) that even after four-plus years, the Bushies still haven’t figured out that certain things (i.e., getting shot at) just can’t be spun. And even if they did pull off The Best Marketing Campaign Ever, that really wouldn’t change any of that whole shooting-at history.

This is what happens when the administration believes that claiming to have fixed the problem is the same as actually fixing the problem. On the other hand, when you see all problems as political problems, I guess you don’t care so much about the underlying causes…

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War


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