'Esquire' Taps Agencies to Cure Democratic Party


Esquire magazine asked top ad agencies in San Francisco, New York and Columbus, Ohio, "How do you rejuvenate the Democratic Party?" Their three answers, published in the magazine's June "The Cure for Everything" feature, include shortening "Democrats" to "Dems" (Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners), adding a word to the first line of the Constitution (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners), and blending the "conservative" and "liberal" colors, red and blue, to illustrate unity in America.

The latter idea, expressed through the line "Power to the Purple," is the logo creation of Ohio agency Ten United, who say the concept comes out of their state's pivotal role in the 2004 election.

"Political parties are leaving people disenfranchised, disinterested or disgusted," says Lance Mald, Ten United CCO. "They fight to the narrowest of victories and even those are disputed."

A 25-year ad veteran, Mald has created award-winning campaigns for brands such as Burger King, General Electric and DirecTV. Prior to joining Ten United, he held senior posts with BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Campbell Ewald.

Ten United is an independent advertising agency with approximately $185 million in billings, for clients including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Dad's Pet Care, Huntington Banks, Limited Brands, OhioHealth, Perkins Restaurants, Time-Warner Communications, Hoover, and Prestige Brands, including Chloraseptic

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (7)     File: Agencies, Strange     May-23-05  
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It's not a branding issue, it's the message. Power to the people? How so? Purple? Seriously... does 'purple' resonate with even the blue states or does it resonate only with highly urban centers? (I'd suggest the latter). At a top level the perception of democrats is they're not for anything (and I know I know I know you spinmeisters are shouting 'education, medicaid, etc.' right now. But you're wrong if you are shouting for those because the stance of Democrats presently is they're for NOT CHANGING those things. Fundamentally, when Americans see problems they demand ideas -- new fresh ones -- to get those problems solved. We are anything but status quo.

Posted by: Scrubber on May 23, 2005 06:39 PM

The interesting part of the Goodby solution in my opinion was the clever use of color - WE in Republican Red, and PEOPLE in Democrat Blue. I think that is the real message not just the first line of the Constitution. But frankly this reads like the PR release that Ted sent you guys and you typed it directly into the computer...

Posted by: Ben on May 23, 2005 08:24 PM

My rebranding effort for the Democrats has sold over 600 pieces of material, been adopted by state parties, college clubs, and local clubs.

Posted by: Oliver on May 24, 2005 01:22 AM

Well Ohio, like many states came in at the national average on the vote, 52-48. It was very much a spit decision. All their campaigning here only divided things more, it was REALLY heated here and I hate both parties for that. I saw entire families split apart. MY own father stopped talking to me for two weeks because I had a kerry sticker on my car, and he was an ex Vietnam war protesting hippy!

Most states were more purple than red, but electorial only sees red or blue.

Posted by: jen on May 24, 2005 09:15 AM

Power to the Purple? Only political junkies will get the political reference, and the left will scream at what they'll see as an attempt to move towards the center. The Republicans won by embracing the red, why do people think Dems have to move to the center?

Posted by: ataridan on May 24, 2005 12:34 PM

Like Jen, I saw many people in my community, even families get incredibly hostile toward each other. Some of those ties are yet to mend.

Me, I honestly don't see enough difference between to two parties to believe that either the Red side or the Blue side has my best interest at heart. A Big Purple Barf Bowl is not going to change that.

If anything it is going to give my favourite colour a bad name.

Posted by: poly on May 24, 2005 03:53 PM

It's a Christmas Miracle!! I've always said that advertising would help unite the world. Similiar to Coke's "I'd like to teach the world to sing"....why has advertising waited so long to united the Democratic masses?

It's due to the fact that humans want to see ads relating to "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth"...never a logo. That one commercial ad...had Kerry backstepping the entire campaign. http://www.retrovsmetro.org/blog/id/58

Put down your ad creative and make more compellingly sleezy, misleading, and downright fraudulant political commercials. ROYGBIV don't fail me know. There's too many colors for a logo at stake.

Posted by: kab on May 26, 2005 11:40 PM

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