February 15, 2008
Presidential Naming and Branding
How the naming of presidential candidates affects voters is something I have written about before, but the subject seems to have caught on.
A recent Reuters article in the press compares the merits of the name Hillary with the name Barack, with one professor quoted as saying “names are brands.” I couldn't agree more, as does Patrick Ruffini, who claims that “we are living through the first Presidential campaign that is being marketed like a high-end consumer brand.”
Hillary is indeed not a common name and thus it sticks with you and it is clear that she is not frequently using her maiden name Rodham and separating herself from Bill by de-emphasizing the name Clinton.
Search Marketing Guru points out that Hillary has essentially taken over the name on the Internet altogether.
Obama, however, is getting star power play for his stand alone last name and he certainly does not like reminding voters that his middle name is Hussein.
Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani focused voter's attention on their first names while John McCain prefers running on his last name.
One blogger claims that Fred Thompson dropped out because voters could not stand the idea of a president named Fred just like they felt the name Bob Dole was, well, dull. Dennis Miller, for his part tells us that there is no way a man named Huckabee can take the White House: “It’s like having a President with the name QuickDraw McGraw.”
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