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Anwar, Kit & Hadi for Malaysian Idol

Posted by Simon Templar On Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Forget about whatever that is being said about APCO. What is important is the fact that Najib's men are good at their job. They have embarked upon a massive public relations exercise of concept and branding focusing on his image and all that is (supposedly) good about him. And you have to give it to his boys.

This is real politics play. They are doing what a politician should be doing to win him votes and support. And you may have been affected by it without even realising. Some of the exercises are very direct such as, the obvious, 1Malaysia. (Understand it or not, every Malaysian knows this catch phrase - 1Malaysia. That itself speaks of success). Some are less obvious but seeks to plant thoughts in your minds such as the daily feature of Rosmah's picture in The Star. Others are even less direct but its effects are tremendous such as having Najib putting the Malaysian brand in the world map via Lotus in the Formula One.

What about Pakatan Rakyat?

Nothing much yet unfortunately.

DAP and PAS are very old school. They believe that their fight will be seen by the people. They believe that by being honest in running their states, they will be appreciated by the people. PKR on the other hand is just something else altogether of which I have no interest to talk about today.

Some of these seasoned politicians may turn techie with their blogs and tweets and all. But that is not good enough. The target audience is very limited. Ever wonder why most of us prefer Coke or Pepsi over some other 'nameless' sodas? Why McDonald's for burger? Why Budweiser? And notice that they are all Americans? That's because the Americans are the best in the world when it comes to advertising and branding. These PR gurus put things in our minds without us even realising it. And that is the power of branding.

And why is Pakatan not on it?

Speak to the older generation out there about voting the opposition. Chances are you will have them start talking in a low tone. Some even whispers. Apparently it is one of those things you don't talk about; or the government will find out. And I won't be surprised if even many of the younger generation practice this.

That got me thinking. Why is that so?

The very word "opposition". To the Chinese, the term "opposition" is almost that of a "rebel". The first thing that comes to mind will be the uprising of the rebels in China that caused the downfall of the emperors and dynasties. And China has a long history of such incidences. So, not many people would really like to come out in public to be called a "rebel" symphatiser. And closer to home, we have Chin Peng and his gang. Being with opposition makes it sound like you are with the commies. And you know how the Chinese have been labelled commie sympathisers. So such a thing sticks.

What about the party colours? PAS is green. DAP is red based. Green is fine. But look at this:

What impression does it give you? Personally, I get the feeling of old school, radical and (sorry) very Muslim. You can wear the trendiest shirt around but if you carry this flag with you, you are going to get labelled.

I seriously think that PAS should work on their logo. Give the green a new zest. A lift. (Oh, spare us the highlighter green please). The moon is fine because that is what they stand for. What about giving the green something less imposing? Besides, the non-Malay public will accept PAS better if they see PAS making an effort to change.

Lets take a look at DAP.

This is so scary. A rocket! How offensive can you get? How more radical can you get? And the red! Oh my... That's so... so... communist? (Commie's are fine. It is just another political ideology. But the Americans have made it into a bad word. So, you wouldn't want to get associated with it, right?) It again brings out the Chinese-Supports-Communists ideology again. This logo is a serious big no-no. Even some Chinese get shit scared just by looking at it. And you want to attract the Malays? Again, rocket? Who are you going to kill? Are you waging a war, mate? Cina nak cabar Melayu? No wonder UMNO is having a field day.

Some of you will think that this is all nonsense. But not everyone is as smart as you eh. And not everyone understands the policies and political fights. There are many Malaysians without internet too. Why don't you try talking politics, and the submarines, and the Perkasas to your granny. See if she comprehends. And it is not only granny. There are many out there who don't give a shit about politics and we want to convince these people to come out to vote. But if we allow the government to scare the shit out of them for voting "rebels", it is going to be darn hard for us to have a new government.

Remember, the battle for votes is not over your vote or mine. That is no battle at all - we have already decided. We need to convince the undecided and the I-don't-give-a damn. And when it comes to these people, you have got to really put in the effort. All aspects count. And I can bet you that a psyche war is very much one of the major determinant factors.

Back to the logo. Have a look at BN. They have a rather good one. Blue is a good colour. And they have a blue that gives you a certain level of calmness which suggests peace. And it gives you a stable impression. The dacing logo is also very... balanced. Think of this. Now think of the rocket. If I were a know nothing or don't want to know anything rakyat (and that's a huge number believe you me), I will vote this logo. It simply makes me feel better.

I know politics should not be down to who has the nicer logo or flag, but this is the real world. Ever wondered why BN via the EC is so protective over the use of logos? We are talking about millions of humans here. And each one has a character of their own. The mind game wins wars. That has been proven over and over again in the history of mankind.

Ok. Done with the logo. Changing that alone is not going to be enough to be acceptable by the people. A PR exercise is massive. And you've got a lot of individuals to win over. But what is key is that the voter must be made comfortable to vote PKR, DAP or PAS. No more voting and shutting up like you've committed a big sin. If we can get the general public to openly discuss about them voting Pakatan, then we are on the right track. So, Malaysians must be made very comfortable with the 3 parties. As comfortable as you are in your pajamas. Pakatan is not going to get any help from the medias. But something has to be done. I don't expect people walking around town wearing a PKR t-shirt the way they happily don a Man U jersey (see, that's another brilliant branding), but if we can get that, wow... so excellent. But something to that effect.

And the street posters. Why must all posters related to politicians and politics be so boring? Many are in fact ugly. I dare say that most of our politically linked posters are an eye sore. Better just let the tree be on its own. And leave the lamp post alone too. Who gets attracted to boring and ugly posters anyway? And the portraits. You would have though that with all the photography talents in this country one good guy with a decent camera and computer can do our heroes some good appealing shots. Instead all of them queue for their turn at Kedai Gambar Subra. According to the popular Mr. Subra, his prized possession is a photo portrait of Parameswara taken using his Nikon (of course). You can find the picture hanging on the left wall of his front entrance.

So branding mate, branding. Image. The human mind is a funny thing. It has to be tweaked. And the good news is it can be tweaked. It is a matter of whether the people concerned are smart enough to do it. And to have the know-how to do it right. But you know, I suspect that dinosaurs still run wild in this country. For many, time stood still a long time ago; so something as modern and trendy as a Public Relations Team or branding or image may be seen as some young farts worshipping Starbucks while the best coffee in town is that at Kedai Kopi Meng Hin.


4 Response to "Anwar, Kit & Hadi for Malaysian Idol"

  1. Idham Said,

    Moon is the symbol of Islam and green is Islam's color. What improvement can you suggest based on that?

    Rocket? I love rockets. Nuff said.

    On the BN side, everything is fine but what they are doing nowadays contradict to what the logo portrays. In short, they are shooting in their own nads.


  2. Anonymous Said,

    Seriously bro only goons like najib and samy volu needs rebranding...

    Not genuine politicians like the ones we have in pakatan....

    Some pakatan goons have rebanded them self as independant, see again there are wat goons need.

    Cheers bro


  3. Anonymous Said,

    somehow dude, i agree. branding is important. u know there's a coffee shop in ss2 which have faces of DAP dudes on the wall? seriously, would an average joe go in there for a cuppa or even use it as a replacement for starbucks to talk business? how do u change such mindset?


  4. arum0r Said,

    @Idham: Moon is NOT the symbol of Islam. NOT even the crescent and stars in the flag of many Muslim countries (Malaysian included). They belong to the Ottoman Caliphate who derived it from their Seljuk-Turk ancentry. They (the Ottomans) maybe Muslim but it has got more to do with their culture than with Islam. You can read this more in Wikipedia. Because they once ruled and had influence on half of the world, their symbol is adopted by new and independent Muslim countries maybe as a reminder of their majestic power. But the colour green was said to be the favourite colour of prophet Muhammad. The tone however is a bit darker green just like the green in the flag of Saudi Arabia. BTW appointing SYMBOL is really a big no in Islam. It was said that the Prophet during war only flew simple black or white or green coloured flags. Coins during the medieval time in Middle East were inscripted only with writings. No symbol.


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