at the intersection of brands, media and culture

John Kerry is still Living Strong

In Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, trends on January 10, 2008 at 10:36 am

live strong
Originally uploaded by Spicy-Shots

John Kerry came out and endorsed Obama today, effectively Swift Boating his campaign by reminding everyone just how bad of a campaigner Kerry was.

But as a marketer I was more struck by this (copyrighted) picture that accompanied him on several sites.

John Kerry is still wearing his Live Strong bracelet and frankly, I don’t know how I feel about it. This is what happens when causes create products that become trendy.

Most folks I know removed their bracelets long ago as the trend died and hygiene reasserted itself into their minds. That and the fact that yellow really doesn’t go with most outfits. But I’m reminded by the picture that some people are keeping on. My question is: what does it signify now?

Live Strong was an external statement of believing in and supporting a fight against cancer. If it was an internal statement, most folks would have donated a couple hundred dollars to a good cause rather than $1 to buy a bracelet. And since it’s an external display of support, the opinions of the audience that views it makes a difference. The same way that the Guess Jean question mark doesn’t mean as much now as it did in the 80’s.

In the case of John Kerry and the Live Strong appearance, is it a reminder to the rest of us that the guy doesn’t know when to stop? Or does it remain a symbol of his belief and one that we are all reminded by when we see it? What meaning does it carry today?

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