When brands get political: the Trump edition

The current political climate in America is anything but subtle. With news outlets being filled with constant updates on the new president and American’s reactions to his decisions, we at Creative Culture decided to take a look at how brands are getting political on and off American soil.

Drink the tea

A few months before he was elected into the oval office, Indian tea company Te-a-me was sending a message to The Donald. In their campaign, the brand travels all the way from India to make a special delivery to the presidential candidate – four years worth of green tea. They created a special video message too, which boasted the fact that the tea is proven to make people smarter and calmer, and reminding him that “it’s never too late to cleanse yourself”. The advert ends with Americans drinking a cuppa and urging Donald Trump to do the same.


Breaking down the walls

On the eve of the election, Mexican beer brand Corona was already making their feelings clear. But what makes this advert so powerful is that, while the plans to build a wall are very explicitly referenced, the advert’s main message is about overcoming personal barriers. So while the statement is certainly a political one, it’s also one of empowerment.

Corona - The Wall (English Subtitles) from Leo Burnett México on Vimeo.

Making lemonade out of lemons

On 4 November, days before the presidential election, Ben and Jerry’s Europe posted a poignant – yet controversial – ad on their YouTube account. While the advert stars fruit, not people, a certain sour lemon strongly resembles the leader of the free world. While many of the reactions on YouTube accuse the ice cream brand of overstepping the boundaries, the message is not accusatory, it’s hopeful. It reminds people that whether you’re an orange, a cherry or a strawberry, we’re all #bettertogether.


The will to succeed

American building materials supply company 84 Lumber released a Super Bowl campaign so controversial that it was originally banned by Fox. In the advert, viewers follow a mother and daughter as they journey across Mexico to the Mexican/ American border. This journey is juxtaposed with scenes of men hard at work on a construction site. When the mother and daughter reach the border they are distraught to find an imposing wall. Just as they are losing hope, they see a light and come to discover a large door in the wall. As they cross into America, it becomes clear that the men created the doorway. In the final scene, the words “The will to succeed is always welcome here” play across the screen.


Acceptance starts with all of us

Homestay network Airbnb launched a campaign that seemed to be a direct response to the ban put into place by the Trump administration. In the #weaccept campaign, the brand vows to provide free housing to refugees and those directly affected by the travel ban. In addition to this, they announced their plans to donate $4 million over the course of the next four years – the length of one presidential term – to the International Rescue Committee. With close to five million views, the campaign has been making its mark on social media platforms.


While they may not always come out and say the president’s name directly, it’s clear that brands are not shying away from making their opinions known – take this recent Diesel advert, for example. With a minimum of four more years in the oval office, it will be interesting to see what sorts of effects the president’s decisions have on brands’ relationships with America and other markets further afield.
By Carly Coulter


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