Ashley Richards

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Branding change

January 28th, 2008 Posted in Marketing

The Obama camp has managed to brand their flavour of change. When I first saw their CHANGE signs, I had a basic gut reaction to it that I couldn’t explain. It made me think of pretty, sophisticated, smart … and that’s weird. Why did I think this? Well because they’re using a font that’s very similar to the CHANEL font (if not the same), it is in all caps, has the same first 4 letters, and only 1 letter is different between them. If you look through Chanel ads from the past 10 years, you’ll see a similar treatment of the “change” and it’s subhead with the Chanel name and it’s product names and taglines. 

My perception of Chanel is completely opposite of the Bush brand. The Bush brand perception is simple, dumb, and abrasive. Of course the Obama camp would want to look the complete opposite of the Bush brand. So since the Obama camp is essentially using a look of another brand that already has specific connotations for the American consumer, are they benefiting from that brand’s perception? And did the designer of the sign purposefully use a similar font to invoke the Chanel brand perception?

If someone asked me this question, I’d have said that they were over thinking it. But since Karl Rove, I’m a bit skeptical of any coincidences in campaigns. And it just bugs me.

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