Six of the Best: Election Edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Six of the Best: Election Edition

The election is nearly here but top branding stories must take precedence*. Here's my summary of the best of the week:

1) How Would You Fix America The Brand? Ron Shevlin
Ron starts his post referring to an interesting question posed in an article by Jim Gregory for Chief Marketer: “What if the United States of America was a brand? As a marketer, what would you do to fix it?” Ron's take: "Judging from the marketing press and blogs that I read, it seems to me that if today’s marketers were in charge of fixing America the brand, the top three initiatives would be: 1) Create a Facebook page. 2) Run a user-generated content contest. 3) Launch a blog. See, Mr. New President. It's going to be easy.

2) Children vs. Obesity: Ban Ads or Tax Junk Food? Branding Strategy Insider
Mark Ritson makes the case that a tax on junk food would be more effective than a ban on ads. "As any marketer knows, the only way to get someone to buy more (or, in this case, less) is to use price promotions. Ads or no ads, children will always want to eat unhealthy foods. An effective 'fat tax' would ensure that while the desire might always be there, the propensity to buy is not."

3) Steal a slice of someone elses' pie: brandgym
David Taylor tells the story of how Chupa Chups is trying to grow its lolly business in Holland by positioning itself as an alternative to cigarettes, following the smoking ban in Dutch cafes and restaurants. The lollies are being sold in flip-top box codes of a cigarette pack and even mimick health warnings with claims such as "sucking relaxes" and "does not harm those around you."

4) How and When to Attack: Ries' Pieces
Laura Ries notes that the election attack ads seem to have set off a round of marketing attack ads. Recent examples include: Dunkin' Donuts vs. Starbucks, Progresso vs. Campbells and, of course, Apple vs. Microsoft. Laura analyzes some of these ads to see when this strategy make sense.

5) Botox makes us happy: Marginal Revolution
An extraordinary story where this piece of speculation from cosmetic surgeons: "People with Botox may be less vulnerable to the angry emotions of other people because they themselves can’t make angry or unhappy faces as easily. And because people with Botox can’t spread bad feelings to others via their expressions, people without Botox may be happier too." turns out to be true! Seems like a new way to approach anger management is in the works.

6) Perhaps the election should be decided with a dance off? If so, who would win?

(via B.L. Ochman and Mario Sudar)

* As a side note, Blogger doesn't have spell check so, whenever there's a word like "precedence" that I'm not 100% sure how to spell, I use the Google toolbar search function and start typing in how I think the word is spelled and then look at its suggestions to see if I'm right.

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