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Back Talk: Is Patriotic Branding Appropriate Now?

With the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden, will U.S. brands tap patriotism to market their products and services, or avoid associations?

Americans – and much of the world – will not soon forget the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. After 9/11, a tidal wave of U.S. patriotism emerged, and as the consumer consciousness shifted, marketers were faced with a new challenge: how to promote products and services without seeming inappropriate. Notably, campaigns from Abercrombie & Fitch and Coca Cola were pulled in the wake of the attacks – marketers fearing their tone unsuitable for the times. Other campaigns embraced the new patriotic zeal sweeping the marketplace. From all-American brands such as Ford and GM to AT&T, Major League Baseball, and financial groups such as Fidelity and Morgan Stanley, 9/11 rebranded emotional branding.

With the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden, U.S. marketers will no doubt be tempted once again to display patriotism in their integrated marketing campaigns.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but is it appropriate for patriotism to be tapped as a marketing tool by U.S.-based companies selling their products and services to U.S. consumers?

The death of “Public Enemy #1” provides a dilemma for marketers. Our question: Is it appropriate this time around for U.S. companies to tap patriotism as a marketing tool for selling their products and services, or should marketers avoid associations?

We really want to know your thoughts.

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
Photo credit: joewcampbell
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About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

One comment on “Back Talk: Is Patriotic Branding Appropriate Now?

  1. Jeff
    May 4, 2011

    I personally cannot conceive of a way to use this particular, brutal but necessary event as a marketing ploy. In light of the myriad domestic issues we face as a nation, it would be callous and cynical to even try.

    On the other hand, when so much of our manufacturing has been “outsourced” to other countries, it seems to me like any company still producing their products or services in the good ole’ USA could properly and proudly use this genuine “patriotic” point of distinction as a great marketing advantage.

    The sad fact is that there very few companies left that can honestly say this. Don’t believe me, go to any retail store and start turning over boxes and see how many say, “Made in the USA”.

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2011 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .

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