I’m a huge design fan, so when Kim Hastreiter of PAPER magazine asked me to contribute to their annual design issue – I was there. PAPER is a very cool and focused magazine that’s been in my Top Ten for ever, but Kim’s idea for 2009 was irresistible: How would you rebrand America? The creative company was stellar and Kim was direct as always:
“As the times we are living in are so radical, I think radical ideas are needed to help save our proverbial asses and to create a new path forward into what I like to call the "new normal". The best part of being in deep shit is that with it comes a unique opportunity for progressive thinking because the status quo is desperate.”
In April I posted some thoughts on Backing Brand America, but working with great Saatchi & Saatchi creatives around the globe to come up with visual ideas to change hearts and minds – well, that was something else.
The ideas published in the magazine and online are brave, clear-eyed, and (best of all) hopeful. The election of a new President is an unprecedented opportunity to look at America afresh and that’s the brief I gave Saatchi & Saatchi people for Brand America. I told them that my dream is for all Americans to reach out to the world and inspire everyone they touch to come together and rebuild a new world of optimism, joy, and shared responsibility. Remember, I told them, Kim is looking for a creative call to action. This is not more analysis and rationalization. In the end, actions will speak louder than ads and the stimulus to action is always emotion. The results were stunning and stimulated a heap of debate on the Web. Kim had invited mavericks to participate so everyone was excited to see their ideas responded to with such intensity.
My personal vision for the rebranding was perfectly captured by "No More Us and Them”. We are on this planet together and together we have to help make the world a better place for everyone. No More Us and Them. Perfect. I also loved the image of three colored blobs of Play-Doh ready to be molded into a dream. The Red, White, and Blue. It really is in your hands. It is.