Like every in-demand A-list couple who concedes to allowing a peek behind the curtain, the Obamas insist this will be the "first and last" up-close and personal look at them as a family. What they don't admit to is that this was a carefully orchestrated, well-thought out brand presentation. And it isn't actually the first highly personal look at the photogenic family. No, it's the culmination of a publicity campaign designed to take advantage of the couple's charisma and Hollywood-worthy good lookTry to wrap your mind around this for a moment: the Obamas are actually using the celebrity press to get press for themselves as celebrities.
"And Michelle Obama has been demonized as a 'radical black bitch,'" points out Joe Dolce, partner in the media strategy of DolceGoldin, and the former editor in chief of Star magazine [and asshat and close friend of Bonnie Fuller].We just thought that needed to be included. What do you think, Bonnie?
In the face of these challenges, I'm convinced that the marketing and PR experts surrounding the Obamas clued in to the enormous influence that "celebrities" have had on the American public, particularly women, over the past seven years since the emergence of Us Weekly, Star and other celebrity newsweeklies and the subsequent explosion of celebrity news.These quote-unquote "celebrities" that Bonnie speaks of are the ones you see in newsweeklies like Star, formerly headed by Bonnie Fuller. Who can understand the intricate web of competing politcosocioeconomicultural interests here better?
A recent Associated Press-Yahoo News poll of more than 1,700 adults reported that 52% of Americans would like to invite Barack Obama to their summer barbecue vs. the 45% who would extend the invite to John McCain. So you can argue that the PR/marketing strategy is beginning to work.You certainly could argue that, yes.
Is it also coincidental that Michelle confides to People that one of the sundresses she's wearing in their photos just happened to have been purchased at budget-conscious fashion mecca H&M. The message for these harsh economic times is that she's not shopping at Oscar de la Renta, like Cindy McCain. "You won't see Michelle in an evening gown. She's never going to be dressed up like the Queen of England," predicts PR king Howard Rubenstein, president of Rubenstein Associates. "That wouldn't be relatable."That would indeed be strange, very strange. Final thoughts to sum up this post, which is now far too long?
Seven-year-old Sasha sports a peace sign T-shirt (how's that for a subliminal message?), Barack's in jeans and an open-neck shirt. They couldn't look more "normal" (vs. "not normal," as Star would say).Seven-year-old Sasha Obama: She's just like us! [Ad Age]