McCain Goes Off-Brand, Says Branding Expert Alan Siegel

October 10, 2008

The Straight Talk Express is on the Wrong Track to the Oval Office

"In observing the behavior of the presidential candidates the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that Senator John McCain has lost momentum and vote support by going off-brand," says Alan Siegel, Founder and CEO of leading brand strategy firm Siegel+Gale. "Meanwhile, Senator Barack Obama continues to stay on message, maintaining his equilibrium in the face of personal attacks and projecting the stature of a thoughtful leader."

Mr. Siegel pioneered the concept of "Corporate Voice" more than 25 years ago. Since then, he has been helping the world's leading corporations and organizations develop powerfully positioned, effective communications to their many audiences.

"Senator McCain built his reputation around the theme of the 'Straight Talk Express,' a refreshingly irreverent style, saying what he believed and unafraid to take on the establishment, or even the Republican Party. He espoused loftier goals -- patriotism, bipartisan programs, championing the underdog -- and did not get involved in seamy politics.

"That's apparently all over. Recently he displayed a sense of desperation -- reminiscent of the last stages of Senator Hillary Clinton, when she was searching for a message to counteract Senator Obama's highly successful change campaign -- by running to Washington to allegedly contribute to solving the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

"He has been dismissive and disrespectful of Senator Obama ('that one' and 'he'), while espousing that he is a worthy opponent. His campaign has turned sordid with an array of personal attacks on Obama.

"Moving away from his successful, straight-talk persona at a time when the American people are desperate for insights and clarification in a world that has turned upside down is unfortunate.

"He has done himself and the American voter a disservice by losing his invaluable brand voice and dragging the campaign into the gutter."

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About Siegel+Gale

Siegel+Gale is a global strategic branding firm committed to building world-class brands through elegantly simple, unexpectedly fresh strategies, stories and experiences. With Simple is Smart as its operating philosophy, Siegel+Gale delivers powerful services in brand development, identity design, simplification, research and analytics, and digital strategy.

Since its founding by branding pioneer Alan Siegel in 1969, Siegel+Gale has helped drive business results for brands such as Aetna, American Express, Bank of America, China Youth Development Foundation, Dell, Dow Chemical Company, The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Internal Revenue Service, The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Microsoft, Motorola, Pfizer, SAP, Sony PlayStation, Yahoo! and the YMCA.

Siegel+Gale has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hamburg, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing and strategic partnerships around the world as a member of the Omnicom Group of companies.

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