McCain Goes Off-Brand, Says Branding Expert Alan Siegel

“In observing the behavior of the presidential candidates the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that Senator John McCain has lost momentum and vote support by going off-brand,” says Alan Siegel, Founder and CEO of leading brand strategy firm Siegel+Gale. “Meanwhile, Senator Barack Obama continues to stay on message, maintaining his equilibrium in the face of personal attacks and projecting the stature of a thoughtful leader.”

Alan Siegel pioneered the concept of “Corporate Voice” more than 25 years ago. Since then, he has been helping the world’s leading corporations and organizations develop powerfully positioned, effective communications to their many audiences.

“Senator McCain built his reputation around the theme of the ‘Straight Talk Express,’ a refreshingly irreverent style, saying what he believed and unafraid to take on the establishment, or even the Republican Party. He espoused loftier goals — patriotism, bipartisan programs, championing the underdog — and did not get involved in seamy politics.

“That’s apparently all over. Recently he displayed a sense of desperation — reminiscent of the last stages of Senator Hillary Clinton, when she was searching for a message to counteract Senator Obama’s highly successful change campaign — by running to Washington to allegedly contribute to solving the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

“He has been dismissive and disrespectful of Senator Obama (‘that one’ and ‘he’), while espousing that he is a worthy opponent. His campaign has turned sordid with an array of personal attacks on Obama.

“Moving away from his successful, straight-talk persona at a time when the American people are desperate for insights and clarification in a world that has turned upside down is unfortunate.

“He has done himself and the American voter a disservice by losing his invaluable brand voice and dragging the campaign into the gutter.”

Siegel+Gale is one of the world’s premier strategic branding companies. Since it was founded by Alan Siegel in 1969, the firm has applied the art and science of simplicity to create branding programs that have helped many of the world’s best-known organizations excel. Driven by its philosophy of “Simple is Smart,” Siegel+Gale has led the way in bringing innovation to the corporate branding field, including transforming complex, incomprehensible customer communications into plain English; helping clients create distinctive brand voices across all their communications; transporting brands onto the Internet; and aligning the brand experience for customers with the brand promise.

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