I saw an illustration this morning that made me pause (and if I could find the news or social media outlet that published it, you’d see it here). It was a caricature of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in profile with mouths open — and fists armed with red and blue boxing gloves protruding from their respective pie holes. It was the perfect summation of this very imperfect presidential campaign.
And then I thought: what if competing brands were allowed to behave like the two persons vying for the most important job in the world? What would that be like?
It’s ironic and a bit twisted, isn’t it, that two individuals designated to represent the best values (in theory) of the United States have too often and far too long fought media wars that have been blatantly untruthful, patronizing, degrading to each other and — between their insults — insulting to the American consumer to the nth degree.
No brand would dare go where these two have gone, and live to talk about it. The mind reels at the possible multi-media defaming that cell providers, fast fooders, automakers — you name it — could whip out, without fear of whiplash backlash.
Fortunately, brands are better than presidential candidates, at least the 2016 incarnations. Fortunately, people aren’t compelled to buy only one smart phone, treadmill or cereal to lead them through the next four years. Fortunately, brands have to make people like them — not work month after painful month to make people hate all the other brands more.