The Marketing of Candidates Using Trademarks and Campaign Slogans in California and the U.s

by R. Sebastian Gibson - Date: 2008-10-17 - Word Count: 760 Share This!

No matter where you live in America, whether it is in Orange County, California, Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, Newport Coast, Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista and Escondido or the cities of Huntington Beach, Westminster, Buena Park, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, and Laguna Hills, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, Buena Park, Temecula, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Springs, or the rest of the U.S., unless you never turn on the television or read a newspaper, you have been bombarded by campaign slogans in the 2008 Presidential election.

Marketing experts know that the best way for a product or a candidate to be remembered is with a slogan or platform that is succinct and easy to remember. Marketing experts know that the best way for a product or a candidate to be remembered is with a slogan or platform that is succinct and easy to remember. 

In addition, a great slogan can be trademarked for use on products such as clothing, mugs, etc. Many people do not recall this, but when Barry Goldwater ran for President, they actually gave out or sold cans of "Goldwater" a soft drink at his rallies and other events.

As a marketing and advertising lawyer in California, one has to wonder if future candidates who create original slogans for his or her election in the future, won't try to trademark their  slogans for use on products and try to copyright their advertising materials using the slogans to prevent the relentless variations made of a good slogan by other candidates.

So far in this Presidential campaign, the slogans have been less than rememberable. In fact with each candidate stealing or using variations of the same slogans each other has used or slogans that were used against them in the primary, none of the candidates marketing experts have done them a real service.

First, look at the ever changing slogans of Hillary Clinton which may have contributed to her downfall. First she had "Renewing the Promise of America" followed by "In to Win," "Working for Change, Working for You," "The Strength and Experience to Make Change Happen," and "The Change We Need." Somewhere along the way, there was also "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead."The changes in campaign slogans by Hillary Clinton were so many and so often, that columnists were commenting if it was a new week, it was time for a new slogan.

Obama's slogans have been fewer in number but faced with the many "Change" slogans used in the primaries by Hillary Clinton, his slogans of "Yes We Can" "Change We Can Believe In" and "Change We Need" have all failed to be memorable. His success as a candidate is acknowledged to be due to his own charisma, rather than that of his slogans.

McCain has had fewer slogans, and has primarily used "Country First" and "Change is Coming." The "First" slogan was better for not using the word "Change" in it. It sounds patriotic and fit the candidate. But somewhere along the way, for better or more likely for the worse, some marketing expert convinced the campaign they needed to confuse the public's perception of who would bring change and separate themselves from George Bush and so they added the slogan, "Change is Coming" which could be the worst of all the "Change" slogans because, duh, with either candidate, George Bush will be out and one of the two guys running will be in.

If these slogans are the best that almost unlimited campaign money can buy, one has to wonder if the campaigns shouldn't have gone to additional marketing agencies, or attorneys to come up with their slogans. Even Barry Goldwater in 1964 had "In Your Heart, You Know He's Right" which quickly became parodied with "In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts," either one of which would have been better than "Change blah blah blah blah blah."

If this year is all about the economy, where are slogans today like "It's The Economy, Stupid" and "Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?" We all know change is coming. The economy is in the tank. Use a slogan that promises a better life, or if you have to be negative, at least blame the economic conditions on the other party's candidate and use something we can all remember, like "This Is All His Fault" or let us know how the candidate really feels about the other's leadership skills and use, "He Can't Lead Us Out Of A Wet Paper Bag."

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