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03.07.10

Yes We Could Have!

With David Axelrod now on the hot seat, Adland author James P. Othmer brainstorms with eight top ad execs on slogans the Democrat brand can adopt to again play Mac to the GOP’s PC.

A year ago, the Democratic Party was a brand on the rise. It was the cool Mac guy to the GOP’s bland and bumbling PC. It had edge like Nike, youth like Pepsi, with the the freshest campaign logo, a rocking Twitter account, celeb cred and a string of viral video sensations that would make any social media-savvy chief marketing officer envious.

Today, the brand that most closely resembles the Democrats is Toyota. With Tiger Woods as its spokesperson.

The Democratic Party. Not the one that Sarah Palin is in.

So can Brand Obama and the Democrats get its multi-platform communications groove back despite a population in full-blown “un-follow” mode, 80 percent of whom, according to the latest Ipsos McClatchy poll, are convinced that nothing can be accomplished in Washington?

Small space ads touting health care reform scribbled on Sarah Palin’s palms? A more robust Rahm Emanuel Facebook Fan Page? Or, stealing a page from Pepsi’s social media book, a contest that crowd-sources policy ideas, or gives consumers the power to vote their least favorite cabinet member out of the beltway?

Perhaps it’s all in the tag line. Perhaps it’s as simple as finding a worthy successor to the suddenly inflammatory Change we can believe in slogan. On the eve of a make-or-break week for the Democratic brand we asked some of adland’s finest to find their inner Axelrod and share a few ideas:

Jamie Barrett, Partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, SF
The Democratic Party. Has anyone seen our momentum? It was here a moment ago.
The Democratic Party. Yes we could have.
The Democratic Party. Not the one that Sarah Palin is in.

Jason Lambert, Assoc. Creative Director, GlobalHue, NYC
The Democratic Party: Our scandals are more fun.

Don Draper’s Bastard Son (via Twitter @ Drapersbastard)
Death Panels, tea parties and Glenn Beck? There’s an app for that.
The Democratic Party. We know Depression and this is no Depression.
The Democratic Party. The audacity to start over.
Creating jobs one vacated governor’s seat at a time.

Steve Wax, Managing Partner, Campfire
The Democratic Party: Now We Got 'Em Where They Want Us!

Steffan Postaer, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Euro RSCG, Chicago
We love you more than they do.
Hope Springs Eternal.

Jim Ferguson, Partner, Jim Bob Dallas (and former creative director on the George W. Bush campaign)
Democrats. Kicking our own ass

Ti House, The Brand Gallery, Greenwich
Hope, Change, and Change Again

Cindy Gallop, former chairman, BBH, Founder Ifwerantheworld.com
The road to good intentions is paved with hell.

'Liberte. Egalite. Fraternite.'

'The rain it raineth every day
Both on the just and unjust fella
But chiefly on the just because
The unjust stole the just's umbrella'

James P. Othmer is the author of Adland: Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet (LINK) and the forthcoming novel Holy Water.