Is It Black & White? "Using Music to Brand a Presidential Candidate"

Some observations about the use of music in the US presidential campaign.

Obama’s gone down the hip hop road and is encountering some problems.

Unlike any presidential election before, the power and influence of music — and hip-hop music in particular — may prove to play an interesting role in a presidential election. Whether you like it or not, the hip-hop culture could possibly create a sea change in perception in how we see the presidential candidate in a way that no stump speech can do.

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Yes hip hop is perceived as edgy and young, and hip hop does appeal to some people.
The problem is that people and particularly young people get very suspicious when “old people” try to be cool and appropriate youth culture.

The second problem is that hip hop/rap music is not just a style of music but a whole musical sub-culture. Obama has to do two things:

  1. Convince the kids that he “fits” Hip Hop culture and
  2. Counter negative perceptions of hip hop culture.

Hillary’s branding is much simpler albeit less exciting. She has or rather her audience has chosen Celine Dion’s “You and I” as her theme song.

The real problem with “You and I” isn’t that it was sung by a French Canadian — the real problem is that, like most of Dion’s oeuvre, it’s just a crummy song. Superficially, it sounds like “music,” but it isn’t really. It’s just the product of a well-paid advertising agency’s successful formula for producing persuasive — and mildly sedative — background noise.
Via Hillary’s tone-deaf campaign

Hillary’s theme song gets my vote.
Yes it is bland, yes it is generic. But then so is Hillary (not necessarily a bad thing). She’s safe and so is this song.

So which one’s more effective and what would Michael Jackson think of all this?

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