Saturday, March 31, 2007

On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog. Meow!

The other day I came across this:

That's a screen shot from the National Association of Manufacturers site, and it's quite fascinating (and well done).

Note the text under the logo (part of an animated banner with different phrases coming by): "We are the millions of people who make things in America."

Well, not really; NAM is actually the much smaller number of people who own the means of production where those millions of people work. That's not a criticism of NAM, it's just a statement of fact. Of course, NAM is a lobbying group, and that's why you see that statement; the interests of the owners and the interests of the workers do not, even in the most perfect world (never mind ours), always coincide.

But when you're showing your face to the public, those millions of people are far more appealing than the CEOs of their employers, and so we see this interesting tagline.

Note also the name of the blog on that page: Is it about what happens on a shop floor somewhere? No, not really; but again, the image of the shop floor resonates with the public much better than the image of the boardroom, although or would have been a more accurate name for the blog.

I'm not questioning NAM's right to put its agenda out there; I will observe that sometimes that agenda is rather different from what those "millions of people" they claim to be might want. So their terminology is a bit disingenuous... even if you think that NAM's agenda is, in the end, better for the millions as well as their bosses.

But, from a branding point of view, pretty effective. Two morals to this: first, on the web, you can be anybody you want. Second, on the web, be suspicious of who someone claims to be.

1 comment:

jrh said...

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