Friday, October 16, 2009

Buff and Blue: Whig politics in the late 18th century

During the latter half of the 18th century, Buff and Blue became the primary colors of the Whig party, and served as the first modern example of party 'branding'. In a political context, Buff and Blue immediately separated the liberal Whigs from the red and white associated with both the English military and the Tories. While the brand predates the 1784 Westminster election (for example, George Washington dressed his continental army in the colors of the party that supported his cause in Parliament), Westminster was the first election where branding became an integral part of the political process. From the fox tails that supporters wore in their caps to the military-style riding habits worn by the Duchess of Devonshire during her speeches, Westminster established marketing and branding as a tool of the political sphere. 225 years later and half a world away, Obama would use branding to support his campaign to the extent that his campaign logo is now an instantly-recognizable symbol. Branding and politics, from C.J. Fox to Barack Obama, are entwined.

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