Branding Your Country

February 19, 2009
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If you agree Israel’s marketing program, successfully promoted through beauty and consumerism, is working to dispel the mass media myths of a warmongering nation, what are other countries doing to brand themselves?
Who are the counterparts to Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover girl Bar Refaeli? She’s proud of her Israeli identity and flaunts it, as 1.7 […]


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If you agree Israel’s marketing program, successfully promoted through beauty and consumerism, is working to dispel the mass media myths of a warmongering nation, what are other countries doing to brand themselves?

Who are the counterparts to Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover girl Bar Refaeli? She’s proud of her Israeli identity and flaunts it, as 1.7 million viewers over two weeks can attest:

As Barack Obama molds his Cabinet and senior advisors, should he create, as Keith Ferrazzi suggested for President Bush in January 2008, a chief marketing officer?

Friends and clients who run global companies abroad, along with officials of other governments, tell me it’s getting harder to publicly support America. The world, they say, which once saw us as liberators, innovators, bearers of economic well-being and personal hope, now sees us as ‘America the Bully,’ with more money and weapons than sense, only “pretending” to serve others for our own narrow self-interest.

In all fairness, this is not totally new. For a lot of people, America hasn’t stood for apple pie in a long, long time. Consider how reflexively anti-American Europe was in the 1970s and 1980s. The rocky relationship that America has had with the outside world for a while now is something that needs and can be addressed.

How can we improve the branding of America beyond our borders? Is it the role of government to lead a marketing effort, as both Israel and Ferrazzi agree? Or, should it be the role of me and you to emulate Bar Refaeli and be brand ambassadors for our countries?


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