Friday, October 5

The Debates - Best in Show

I was going to have one of my Twitter parties during the first Presidential Debate the other night (#DebateExp), but I decided against it for fear of it being too much to handle ... go ahead and say it ... Chicken!

But now I wish I had because it would have been easy to do my typical "Best in Show".  "Best in Show" from a marketing standpoint, not to pick a "winner" of the debate.  But having watched the debate and then following all of the comments after, it's SO easy for me to do it anyway.

Best in Show from the Debate is ... Big Bird!

Sesame Street hasn't gotten this much attention in years.  All sparked by Romney's comment that he will cut funding for public television.  People are coming out in droves to defend PBS, recounting childhood memories of Big Bird and Julia Child, and talking about how important it is to this generation as well.

This is brand equity in action, watching your loyal fans come to your defense all based on an emotional connection.  Not just a product, not just a television network, but an emotional experience that has had value to their lives.  Big Bird (and Ernie and Elmo and and and) are all more than just characters, they stand for something and people are standing up for them.  Me, I always loved Bob!

Now the whole debate about PBS funding is a separate issue in my mind.  Just look at the power of the Sesame Street brand and its admired spokespeople!  I'm not even sure that they need the funding and I know of many a brand that would step in with support.  I just love seeing marketing in action.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

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