Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Elephant Brand

One of the world’s most famous brands – or mascots, take your pick – was born 133 years ago today. The Republican Party was symbolized as an elephant for the first time. (I have been from time to time associated with it myself.)

“The Third-Term Panic” by Thomas Nast originally appeared in Harper's Magazine on November 7th, 1874. You can read all about it on the magazine’s website. Most people won’t recall that America’s then-most-famous political cartoonist was commenting on the possibility of a third term for President Ulysses S Grant.

Depending on your POV, it’s still going strong. Check it out: CaféPress says it has “over 2080 unique, Republican elephant designs on more than 51100 T-Shirts and Gifts.” That’s a plethora of pachyderms.

Conjecture: Another way to build the strength of your own brand is to found a political party. Win elections. Don’t forget to involve the public by establish a “netroots” organization – a fine new term that’s rapidly replacing “grassroots.” Put Presidents in the White House.

The American press (including cartoonists) will do the rest. Honestly, there are some days when I think it has to be easier than marketing.

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