Monday, June 23, 2008


If you work for a large, publicly traded corporation, you're going to have to get sent to re-education camp from time to time. Hell, I've had to wear Spock ears at a kick-off meeting for a small corporation. Executives believe that all their serfs should love the brand just as much as they profess to.

I'm sitting though a bit of propaganda today, shields up, trying to let only enough through that I can pass the assessment at the end and stay out of dutch with HR. I'm doing this six months late, so I just know that Catbert, evil HR director, is waiting to nail me if I even think of stepping off the one true path (until the next executive shows his impact by changing it).

But what I just saw turned my stomach too much to let pass uncommented: The brand evangelists asked various people from the business side what brand they identify with, and they managed to find ordinary-looking, non-insane people who would admit that they identify with Disney, Coca-Cola, Google, Starbucks, BMW, Apple.

Think about that. These people are proud that advertising has worked on them, that their self-images are bound up with a corporate image created for the express purpose of extracting money from their wallets!

So now the corporation I work for is asking me to identify with its brand, to go to war with its logo on my chest and to return with my shield or on it. But the executives know enough at least to identify with third party brands, since the only brand that really matters to them is their own brand, as represented as well as possible by their résumés.

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