Thursday, July 18, 2024

The State as a Brand


Brand gurus have long declared that all public entities and identities, and not just consumer packaged goods, are “Brands.” Today we see the truth of that assertion as we recognize the emergence of the “Brand-State.”

The tragic events of September 11th have brought to the foreground a number of unfortunate misunderstandings about America.

While America suffers under the recent terrorist attacks and the loss of innocent life, the likely perpetrators see their successful attack against America as a victory against capitalism, global corporations, and the Americanization of the world.

Thus the emergence of the “Brand-State,” and the need, at least for America, to define, clarify and refine what its “Brand” shall stand for in the minds of the citizens of the world.

On October 2, 2001, President Bush swore in his newly appointed Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Ms. Charlotte Beers. Ms. Beers, a well-known Madison Avenue executive, and former Chairwoman of J. Walter Thompson, is now called to leverage her years in advertising to sell America to the world.

It will not be easy, not just because branding a nation is a new challenge, but also because much of the most essential target audience is outside the reach of the traditional advertising and marketing tools of television, radio, print and online media. These difficulties are further compounded by the anti-American sentiment present in many of the most important-to-penetrate regions.

Ms. Beers indicated in the Wall Street Journal that she will endeavor to redefine and improve the image of America, initially through employing online resources (see and “dramatic photography” to put a human face on the recent tragic events, and to craft positive emotional connections. Watch the Quick Time movie at the web site entitled, “Defeating Terror, Defending Freedom.” It will send chills through you, with dramatic imagery you won’t forget!

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