Branding experts say Hillary’’s ”Smart Power” slogan is just plain dumb

January 24th, 2009 - 4:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 24 (ANI): Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’’s description of her approach to diplomacy, Smart Power, is just plain dumb, marketing professionals have said.

The catchphrase is unclear and ripe for misinterpretation; FOX News quoted a group of experts, as saying.

Clinton, who was sworn in as Secretary of State on Wednesday, defined “smart power” at her Senate confirmation hearing as using the full range of tools available to the United States, including diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural tools.

Essentially, “smart power” is just more evidence of how bad the communication coaching Hillary gets and probably cost her the (presidential) campaign, said Rob Frankel, a branding expert and author of “The Revenge of Brand X.”

Frankel praised the concept, but slammed the execution.

“The execution is where Hillary traditionally falls on her face. And whoever is advising her should be soundly whipped,” he said.

Alan Siegel, founder and head of Siegel + Gale, a brand consultancy, described “Smart Power” as an “unfortunate choice of words.”

“I don”t think it’’s good to say you”re smart. I think it’’s smarmy. Clinton should have used words like intelligent or sensitive instead,” he said.

“I think that Hillary Clinton is a really smart, articulate woman and I think she’’s going to be a good Secretary of State, but I don”t think what we need now is more slogans. …To say ‘’smart power” is ridiculous,” Siegel said.

But Joseph Nye, the Harvard professor who coined the phrase, batted away the criticism.

“To talk about international affairs and not talk about power is like to going to Shakespeare to see Hamlet and not have the prince of Denmark present,” said Nye, who authored “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.” (ANI)

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