Tuesday, April 8
Marketing experts say war is a tough sell
Sound bites, slogans strive for image of quick, clean war
Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, March 30, 2003

With the first MBA president in the White House, the war with Iraq has showcased modern principles of marketing and image management.

Bush administration sound bites and slogans from "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to "leadership targets" attempt to frame the conflict as sanitary and tidy, remote from the ugly realities of bloodshed, marketing experts say.

" 'One sight, one sound, one sell' is classic brand management," said Peter Sealey, adjunct professor of marketing at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and former head of global marketing for the Coca-Cola Co. "When you have this kind of blizzard of intensity, you need to focus on a single proposition."

By and large, the Bush administration has done that, he said, distilling a huge geopolitical conflict with multiple underlying political causes down to a simple message of "freeing 23 million Iraqis." [...]
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