Branding is powerful. A well-crafted tagline and logo are enough to get into a person’s mind. If it makes us feel happy, strong, powerful, nostalgic, or anything positive, it impacts our judgement on the entire brand, even in the absence of any other information. Once you’re in, you have a leg up on the competition because you’ve created a feeling and a memory.
Brand awareness is important in any marketing campaign, and it’s equally important in a political campaign. We see it all over every media right now. It’s all strong reds and blues, easily recalled taglines, feelings of unity and strength. But branding a presidential candidate isn’t new. Here’s a bit of history from the New Republic.
The history of campaign branding
As technology has evolved, so has the content and style of “branding” candidates. From the 1700s through the early 1800s, posters and political cartoon engravings were the communication platform of choice, as literacy rates were low. Interestingly, political buttons can be found as far back as the time of George Washington, whose campaign doled out hand-painted portraits and engraved buttons that supporters sewed onto their clothing.
And giving away promotional freebies isn’t a new concept. As described in the 2012 book Presidential Campaign Posters, the practice dates back to 1828. The book notes that Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson gave away hickory brooms and canes while affixing hickory sticks to wagons, steamboats, and houses—all to link objects to his campaign brand and identity.
As literacy rates increased and the number of newspapers in America grew—from 31 in 1775, to 346 in 1814, to 1200 in 1835, and to more than 2,500 by 1850—text-based slogans and campaign materials became more ubiquitous.
A breakthrough came with the photographic tintype used in Abraham Lincoln’s campaign pin. Next, advances in lithographic printing yielded mass-produced buttons with pithy slogans such as “I Like Ike.” Finally, fashion was tapped to promote candidates, perhaps best exemplified by Richard Nixon’s 1960s mod paper dresses.
Read more on the history of political branding here.
Whether ‘You’re with Her’ or you want to ‘Make America Great Again’, you can’t deny the power of effective marketing that bolsters your brand. If you’re looking to create a strong brand image and marketing that sticks in the minds of your customers, call the marketing experts at Front Burner Marketing today.