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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Monday September 28, 2009
04:16 AM

How to Not Brand Something

[ #39683 ]

Just another quick reinforcement that if you don't understand a problem, your solution might be disastrous.

In the excellent book What the Terrorists Want by Dr. Louise Richardson, she told of an incident where the US State Department[1] realized that "brand USA" wasn't polling too well in the Middle East. So they hired a PR firm and spent many millions of dollars to convince people in the Middle East that the US is the land of opportunity. We allow free speech. We allow voting. We have freedom of religion. We're a great country, really.

At the end of this, it was discovered that the US was still polling badly. Follow ups with people in the Middle East invariably had respondents say a variant of the same thing: we know this. That's not why we hate you[2].

Oops. Millions of dollars of US taxpayer money was blown trying to reinforce a brand which was irrelevant to the concerns of the target market.

1. Er, I think that was the government body involved. My apologies if it was a different one.

2. To anyone who's naïve enough to believe George Bush Jr's schoolboy "they hate freedom" taunt, have some reality to chew on.

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