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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-07-22 07:25
Subject: [politics] Branding, that's the problem. Branding.
Security: Public
Tags:iraq, politics, weird
Washington Post on branding the war:

In the advertising world, brand identity is everything. Volvo means safety. Colgate means clean. IPod means cool. But since the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003, its "show of force" brand has proved to have limited appeal to Iraqi consumers, according to a recent study commissioned by the U.S. military.

The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military operations around the world involves "shaping" both the product and the marketplace, and then establishing a brand identity that places what you are selling in a positive light, said clinical psychologist Todd C. Helmus, the author of "Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation." The 211-page study, for which the U.S. Joint Forces Command paid the Rand Corp. $400,000, was released this week.

Helmus and his co-authors concluded that the "force" brand, which the United States peddled for the first few years of the occupation, was doomed from the start and lost ground to enemies' competing brands. While not abandoning the more aggressive elements of warfare, the report suggested, a more attractive brand for the Iraqi people might have been "We will help you."


You know, I've worked in marketing much of my adult life in one form or another, and I really do understand the critical importance of brand management in a consumer setting. But this...wow...
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-07-22 14:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As TPM pointed out, the report is couched in past-tense. The results are suggestions for the next war. Iran, anybody?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-07-22 14:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I literally thought it was from the Onion when I saw it cited on Gawker.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-07-22 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So much of what this administration has 'accomplished' looks like Onion reports on the face.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-07-22 14:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think that may be contingent on election returns.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-07-22 14:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Considering our Commander-In-Chief's utter disregard for anything except his own opinion, what will keep him from sending troops into Iran? He can do it without Congress; and as long as enough Republicans stonewall and filibuster and just generally support his decisions, he'll keep at it with no oversight.

(Isn't the strategic report from the general in charge of Iraq due before the 2007 elections? He'll have another piece of paper to wave and impetus for his surge into Iran before the voters speak.)

(Of course I may be talking out of my hat. It's possible Bush will bow to voter opinion, become responsible to Congress, restore Constitutional rights. It could happen.)
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-07-22 15:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Right, but in case Dem's are elected, he'll want to stick them with it and make them unable to pull out without looking bad. If a "good" Republican comes in who might do it anyway, he might leave it to them.

I also think a bombing campaign is more likely under a Bush presidency than another invasion.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-07-22 15:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Truly, I'm surprised he hasn't done this already (he's chafing at the bit to go into Syria as well.) Of course, this is as far as we know, right? In a decade or so, I imagine we'll get all these released documents telling us about the parts of the war we're not being told about now.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-07-22 15:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Resident can order strikes, or order the troops to invade, but he can't authorize a sustained action without Congress, so it behooves him to wait until right before (or right after) the coming election... but he still needs to build his case (for people, for the press, for Congress), and that is what he is doing now.
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steve_buchheit
User: steve_buchheit
Date: 2007-07-23 13:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Kind of puts a whole new spin on those Japanese Troops using cartoon characters on their trucks. Now they had the branding solution down.
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