made for history

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I can’t believe I am writing this again. I shared this blog post nearly 8 years ago about how Barack Obama’s merchandise was incredibly superior to that of John McCain, and how these differences said much about their campaigns and their chances of winning in a modern world. Unfortunately, all of the images are broken, but the sentiment is there.

I decided to take a look after reading about the reveal of Trump’s new logo and how terrible it is. It was so torn up that they appear to have already changed it. (I couldn’t find a quality version online as well, as seen in the image at the top of this post.) I also noticed the terrible hat that Donald Trump was wearing a few weeks back, and I was shocked at the Times New Roman of it all.

Here we go. The images will be large but I think it is important to look at everything, so we are going there.

Trump Apparel

OK, first of all, is that fleece vest a tribute to Chris Christie? I really strongly associate fleece items with zippers to Hurricane Sandy-era Christie.

The rest of these items are certainly consistent in their complete basicness. The only one with a bit of anything approaching humor is the one near the top with #newyorkvalues on it. How can they not have explored variety in their merch? If you are not interested in being a literal billboard to support this candidate, you aren’t going to buy these shirts.

Clinton Apparel

This is NOT all of the Hillary Clinton apparel, this is the Made for History items – a new version of the Runway for Change collection that was extremely successful and sold out during Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. This is just a subset of the huge variety of apparel available from HillaryClinton.com. I might be totally biased, since my favorite type of merch for anything are items that don’t broadcast a single idea, but are more like an inside joke on a shirt. Lyrics, or a character name, or a phrase like “Make Herstory.” HRC’s website has simple shirts with her logo or name on them as well, but they aren’t the ONLY option.

Trump Accessories

OK, I just figured it out. This Trump merchandise looks like bootleg merch, like it was designed and created by someone looking to make a buck while putting in the least amount of effort. I can’t unsee it now.

Clinton Accessories

The difference is very clear here. There seems to be a similar attitude from Clinton’s merch team as her social media team, they are addressing some of the basic misogyny surrounding her campaign by offering a “woman card” and a pillow embroidered with “a woman’s place is in the White House.” There are small items like enamel pins and keychains, and even a gift card option when you just can’t pick between the variety of items for your favorite HRC supporter.

In closing, I truly cannot believe that the Trump team isn’t taking a page from the Clinton team (and really, from Obama’s teams) on having a variety of merch available that is well-designed and appeals to the widest possible group of people. I am not surprised, given the logo fiasco that has just taken place, but it seems so obvious that in 2016 you would offer this wide variety of items available.

Save

{ Comments on this entry are closed }