Obama Discounts, Specials and Sales
I walk past a restaurant/bar on my way to and from Farragut North and yesterday was no exception. As it was President's Day I took special notice of a sign that's been hanging in this establishment's window for the last two months. It announces a special drink: the Obama Crown Cocktail, featuring Crown Royal whiskey.
So many places have jumped on the Obama bandwagon that it almost doesn't warrant mention. Ikea had its "Change" campaign, linking Obama's fresh political wind with the need for a new sofa. The new Pepsi logo looks like the Obama logo. Souvenir vendors have stocked up on T-shirts, bobbleheads and other assorted Barackobilia.
But what I'm curious about this morning is: Should they? Is there something a bit untoward about trying to shift merchandise by wrapping it in the mantle of Obama? The Ty company already got beat up for, in quick succession: naming two of its dolls "Malia" and "Sasha" and saying they were inspired by the Obama girls; saying the dolls were not inspired by the Obamas; changing the names; and now retiring the dolls.
(An aside: Ty is one of the creepiest companies around. Back when I edited KidsPost I attended ToyFair in New York. Media were not allowed in the Ty booth, which was prowled by security guards. Riding high on its Beanie Baby success the company didn't need the media--why should it when it could go straight to the cerebral cortexes of its two core audiences: 6-year-old girls and multiple-cat-owning 35-year-old single women? I detected a malevolence swirling around the Ty booth before I was chased out. I'm never surprised by the odd things that company does.)
I don't remember George W. Bush being referenced in cocktails or plush toys when he took office eight years ago. Of course, Obama's election was more historic and thus more bankable in marketing terms.
Perhaps we're just seeing remnants of the Obama inaugural tidal wave. Perhaps the attempts to connect commercially with the new president will fade as Obama settles into the grinding routine of his job. Thoughts?
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