Branding the Flag

I’m going to really step in it today, but a (political/branding) discussion with strong feelings is already brewing, and maybe we can attempt to have a reasonable conversation about it.

Think with me for a few minutes.

Yesterday, on the Barack Obama twitter feed, the following tweet appeared, with a link leading to the image shown below:

(one of several posters you can order for $35.00)

My immediate reaction was one of being offended, a sentiment shared by many others, judging from the on-line reaction. This is hardly, of course, the first time that the American flag has been artistically altered in some fashion. However, the immediate message that this graphic sent to me was that we Americans are to be united under Mr. Obama. The replacement of the 50 stars and the 13 stripes (representing people and states united under a Constitution), seemed jarring and presumptuous. If a big Romney R were in the upper left corner, I’d feel the same way. From a branding perspective, should it not be obvious that this approach would offend many who feel a deep reverence for the American flag? How would people in the Armed Services feel about seeing this rendition?

You. Just. Don’t. Do. That. Or so it seemed to me on the gut reaction level.

But that’s my reaction. And I’m interested to know how others feel. I’m going to encourage you to add your comment, but here are the ground rules:

1. In one sentence, describe your gut emotional reaction to this graphic and approach, in one of three ways: Offensive, Neutral, Positive.

2. In that same sentence or perhaps one other, explain why you feel that way.

On this blog, we talk a lot about branding, and a lot about condensed and vivid messaging. Political campaigns are all about that. I’d like to know how others respond to altered flag imagery.

DO NOT go off on a political rampage about Romney, Obama, Bush, Iraq, the deficit, Putin, Ayn Rand, or whatever – those arguments are raging everywhere and this blog isn’t the place for it. Don’t go on a bashing rampage about “the other” political party. I’ll delete such comments. Let’s keep it to a discussion of this one issue about use of American flag imagery in this particular instance. If you have longer-form thoughts about artistic use of flag imagery in general, you might want to have that discussion on your own blog. Agreed?

Go!

Zero in the Morning

Sorry, folks. Feeling sick, and too many other demands, to put up a “Five in the Morning” post today. Hopefully be back tomorrow!

Ad-Tech AWOL

Was planning to be at Ad-Tech NY again, live-blogging. Unfortunately, I’ve had a laptop malfunction (the keyboard may be permanently on the fritz) and so I can’t follow through on my plans to do another day of “reporting.” Sorry about that – technology happens!

Five in the Morning 110308

Ways to get new Blog Readers. 10 great tips about using on-line presence strategies, from Problogger.

Is that a whiff of Lanolin around your marketing? Don’t follow the sheep, says Jonathan Kranz at MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

A roundup of top blog search engines. From Ann Smarty at Search Engine Journal.

Steve Rubel predicts the future regarding smart phones and cloud computing. I think he’s pretty much on-target. What do you think?

Free e-books from Chris Brogan. As in, FREE. Fish Where the Fish Are. Personal Branding. Grab ‘em!

PLUS – I love being a Dad. From C.C. Chapman. Yeah. And, for a quick Monday visual, Tel Aviv sunset from Jeff Pulver.

I’ll be at Ad-Tech NY for the first part of this week…will try to get out Five in the Morning each day, but no guarantees! Visit here for live updates on the conference, however, M-W.

(Image credit)

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Age of Conversation (2) Available NOW

The long-awaited second edition of The Age of Conversation is now available! This group-authored book is a great introduction to social media, told in the voices of dozens of practitioners (see list below!).

I was honored to contribute a chapter to both the first and second editions. And the collaborators are top-notch!

You can buy the book right here. There are hardback, paperback, and e-book versions available. All proceeds to Variety – the Children’s Charity.

Here is the author list!

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

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Five in the Morning 102808

Chris Brogan with some tips on Reaching outside your Fishbowl to Build Community.

A series of video snippets (of Seth Godin and Tom Peters) commenting on social media. Courtesy of Doug Karr.

Beth Harte gets even more passionate. Good for her (and for you)! Similar thoughts from Amber Naslund.

Start buying! The Age of Conversation (2) is here. David Reich gives a plug.

The problem: Defining the problem. So says Tom Clifford – and this principle applies for many areas beyond creating a video!

PLUS – Do some people still have a heart, even for a stranger? Wow.

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Five in the Morning 102708

Gary Vaynerchuk, high-energy social media evanglist. From MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

It’s improved. Bigger. Better. Before there was Alltop, there was…The Marketing Bloggers portal. Now with more feeds. Check it out – and let me know if there are other worthies that should be included!

So…have you been to the Bathroom Blogfest? No, not a typo. This is real. I don’t get it…but C.B. Whittemore and gang can help you out here.

This is Katie Konrath‘s blog. Why am I linking to it? Because I love the tagline. Go see!

C. C. Chapman, a presentation on Making Media as Marketing. With Slideshare. From the recent MarketingProfs Digital Mixer.

PLUS: Eyes. I’ll say no more. You have to see it (with your own eyes) to believe it!

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