Thanks to the great folk at All-Silhouettes for the great zombie package, hip hop package, crowd package and running package. Saved me a ton of work doing silos of me doing all of those poses. Also special thanks to Daniel W. Kelly (NSFW) for his zombie movie expertise and his dire warning that zombie purists will declare a holy jihad by some of my inclusions. Who cares. It made me chuckle.
I wanted to quickly list my reasons for voting for Romney and not voting for Obama, why I’m not voting for a third party (and why you shouldn’t either) and my prediction of who will win.
Obama has done nothing to stop abortion and supports broadening it. Historically he voted against Bush’s Born Alive Infant Act, not once but three times, saying things like the act “would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable.” He only supported the bill when saying it contained language that protected the Roe v. Wade when a previous version of the bill was exactly the same.Showing his stripes, he immediately overturned Bush’s (marginal) protection of human beings by overturning the ban on testing embryos by signing an Executive Order (13505) on March 9th 2009 in direct opposition to the Dickey Wicker Amendment until it was overruled by the Appeals court allowing tax dollars to support murder (more on how this entire story was misreported). Obama backs the Freedom of Choice Act which was explicitly designed to flip the Supreme Court’s decision supporting the ban on partial birth abortions. It contains language that gives the right to terminate a pregnancy even after fetal viability to protect the mother’s life or health—where health is undefined and historically includes emotional health.
Obama’s character reflected with presenting the Affordable Health Care Act. Obama defended the taxes in the Affordable Health Care Act as a penalty and explicitly not a tax on the American People. Then, in front of the Supreme Court, his staff argued that it was a tax. The Supreme Court agreed that it was a tax. Obama showed his stripes in blatantly lying to get his way, and continues to applaud this as a win when it’s yet another tax burden on the American people who can’t afford it.
Obama has an explicit bias against a portion of the American population that carries the heaviest tax burden. This small percentage of people pays roughly 50% of the American taxes. Sure, Obama’s comments on the redistribution of wealth (2001) were taken out of context, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he keeps demanding the ones with the heaviest tax burden to pay more. His proposed taxes and policies have increasingly shown he has no problem turning the weight of the government against one class of people and thus setting a fiscally suspect and ill precedent
Obama’s use of the public while abusing Governmental power. He ran his first campaign on nothing but clever marketing and slick deals and continued to do the same with his second campaign. He ran his first campaign on Bush blaming and continues it into the second: and it is all false (and here and here). This redounds back on his penchant to twist the public in whichever way he wants. It’s ill precedent. He waffles on the problems in Libya and turns our attention to a video casting aspersions on freedom of speech by his actions. He ignores the problems with Government Spending (regarding Social Security or Medicaid) and instead turns our attention to the Rich. He says he’s against extreme rendition and takes steps to prosecute the previous administration, but then silently re-signs his support of extreme rendition—and turns the public eye. He is against Guantanamo Bay, swears he’ll close it, turns the Public Eye and leaves it open. He repeatedly makes use of powers that previous administrations rarely used for the purpose of shutting up the media. He again deflected by placing the blame of certain decisions (sequestration) in the hands of congress. He enacts and upholds unconstitutional laws (NDAA) which outline the imprisonment of American Citizens for an indefinite amount of time and somehow gets it through even with so-called reservations. He points to how rich his opponent is and suddenly money from NoWhere fills his coffers in convenient small amounts so that he doesn’t have to report where the donations come from. No, not only the 2008 campaign, but again in 2012. He repeats the lie that Planned Parenthood is on the frontline of mammograms while they only really provide hands on breasts examination without x-rays. Again and again he turns the eye and refuses to deal with the fundamental problems or fulfill promises or address concerns. There’s a list here of general character questioning scandals (some I’ve already mentioned), and some within the last month and a half. His character is lacking.
His policies are fundamentally political and then used as an instrument. Historically he didn’t support homosexual marriage until Biden made an “accidental” public remark. Once it was out, Obama came out the next day supporting homosexual marriage. Coincidentally, on the Presidential Election year. If he had taken a stand on what he said he believed in, he would’ve taken extreme political heat but instead he politicized this and flopped. Now he uses it as a blunt instrument against the opposing party when this was a total politically motivated swing. Abortion is a hot topic so he brings contraception to the fore with the HHS Mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act while demanding religious institutions to come on board. If not, those places are threatened. And as such, he uses this club to paint people who are against it as hateful religious bigots that need to shut down.
Other concerning things. He signed the Honoring America’s Veteran’s and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act which, although generally alright, demarcates certain protests as not-protected by the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech by punishing them with criminal or civil action. Westboro is evil, but seriously: when you start attacking Freedom of Speech, where do you stop? Well, you keep going. Like the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act which makes it easier to bring criminal charges against protesters by allowing arbitrary redefinition of protected areas. Or the National Defense Authorization Act further expands governmental powers against terrorists but this time in the digital realm—including the detention of American citizens for an indefinite amount of time. He signed it even saying that he had “serious reservations”! If that’s the case, you don’t sign the bloody bill. But no, he merely expands unprecedented governmental powers and shrugs. People rightly flipped when Bush expanded the governmental powers in this way: why is no one flipping out now that Obama is “Bush on Steroids”.
Good outweighed by concerns. He has done some good things, this is true. Some of the bills he supports have good aspects. The Affordable Health Care Act has a bunch of good things. So does the Veteran’s Care. Even the NDAA. But they have a mess of bad things and he still supports them. And then his support of things that are outright evil should be troubling to anyone—especially Christians who should know better.
This leaves why I’m voting for Romney (a non-Christian) and not some other third party.
Not because of Mitt’s problems with Obamacare since he was the founding father of a health care plan that was an early model (though he rightly argues against. a national plan). Not because of Mitt’s flop against abortion which may not or may have been legitimate. Not for his seeming disconnectedness from the people (even though that is patently false if his time in Massachusetts were allowed to speak).
Partially because I think Paul Ryan has a ton of potential though even that isn’t a convincing reason. Mostly, but not primarily, because this upcoming President gets to choose a couple of Supreme Court justices.
There is no third party that has made any convincing waves. Third party votes will detract from where the main campaign is occurring and these policies need to be reigned in.
I’m voting for Romney because Obama shouldn’t be allowed to get a second term to do whatever he wanted to do, but couldn’t do during his first term.
I’m not sure Romney will overturn everything Obama has done; some things that Bush has done should be overturned. Romney has had chances to say and he hasn’t. But even so, I think a vote for him is better than a vote for a third party. I’ll vote for a third party candidate when I can (sometimes locally where it matters, also mid-term elections, maybe if there is someone who really stands out), but this election isn’t that election. I voted for other candidates during the primaries but now there are no viable third party options that stand against what I’ve brought up with the political clout to get it done.
Therefore, I’m voting Romney. You should too.
But even with all this that I’ve posted (and it’s out there), I think many of the American people have bought his act while ignoring his policies. My prediction is that Obama will win anyway. I hope not, but there you go.
Up front, everything—even if never touched by a designer—has a brand. Even people or products you hate have a brand. The brand is recognized by the thing or person that is out there, not by a logo. So, a brand can exist even without someone intending it to exist, but it’s there and the public defines the brand.
We can think of an effective brand as the conjoining of three spheres: (1) what a person intends to the brand to be (Goals/Aspiration); (2) what the public perceives the brand to be (Perception); and (3) what the brand actually is (Identity).
Some things have less effective brand recognition as the spheres overlap in a lopsided way, but great brand recognition is the equal overlapping of the spheres.
Here the designer, art director or Creative Director might say ”well, what’s wrong with having a bigger perception than the actual identity or goals?” The hope here is that with the right design we can make the product better in the public eye. The thing is, while that is financially great in the short-term, in the long term the brand’s perception could be quickly exposed and collapse in on itself. Think of the housing market bubble and the bank crisis and you’ll get an idea of what I’m saying—the same thing can happen with a product or person.
What we Creative Directors have to do then is figure out ways to back up the brand that functions beyond the Marketing Director’s focus group briefs.
Brands have all sorts of things that pull against each other and the traditional avenues of input are the advertisements and the final product. We measure those things but by then countless dollars have been invested and the brand is already in play.
Admittedly, in some cases it might mean shifting the aspirational intents to focus on the aspiration itself. Look at Apple, who has HUGE Brand Perception; they don’t ultimately focus on their product. They turn your eyes to the fact that this is an Apple Product. The market never needed an iPad, but it understands the Apple Brand and now it wants the iPad.
Creative Directors have to increase their exposure to cultures outside of their design sphere. I don’t mean marketing goals but rather how to use a creative piece to tap into actual market research.
New media affords us a way to interact with the actual market research before our own brand launches. With social media we can get conversations going about what people like and what they’re looking for. J.J. Abrams is known for plot twists so we saw absolutely no marketing for Cloverfield except for the fact that there was a block on marketing. The buzz was created simply by underscoring that there will be no buzz. What about viral marketing that is launched without the actual product in play? Or what about strategic patent filings? How much buzz is created by Apple filing a patent for a 7 inch bevel-edged rectangle with a circle on it?
We have to be careful here: I’m not saying that we lie with our filings or viral video. I’m saying we figure out ways to get conversations going and use all that information to bolster the brand.
What do you think: is there a way here to re-think how we Creative Directors think about our field? Should we be pre-influencing our brand or do you think there is an ethical line here that is being crossed?