Jimmy Kimmel for president?
Could someone please draft Jimmy Kimmel to run for president ASAP?
Why? Because he’s taking this political activist thing a little too far, and in the process may be damaging his very own brand as a comedic talent.
His latest political excursion, one of several recent career-altering tactics, came this past Friday night when Mr. Kimmel lost interest in his comedy brand by making an announcement before his show regarding the Santa Fe School Shooting in Texas.
He used his show as a political forum when he said, "[Politicians] sit there with their hands in their pockets, pockets that are full with gun money, and they do nothing." His point? Gun Control is needed now.
Not a bad thing from a First Amendment perspective, but a very dire digression from a fundamental branding one. Oh, Jimmy, what’s a marketing and branding consultant to do?
You see, by using this rather simple political tactic within his comedy brand space, Kimmel confused his audience regarding his brand as a comedian.
Jimmy Kimmel has spent a lifetime developing a brand loved by millions. But now, through such a righteous gesture — his announcement on guns, politicians, and the Santa Fe School shooting, he may just slowly be eroding his effectiveness as a “laugh brand” because his audience can no longer count on him being funny. It’s a consistency thing, nothing more, but in branding it’s everything!
Viewers and we as customers love consistency. When we go to our favorite restaurant, we want the food and service to be “right on” all the time. When we attend a performance of our favorite actor, we expect a solid character portrayal every time. And when we read a columnist whom we respect, we always demand a certain style that will never disappoint.
This is why Mr. Kimmel must decide whether he wants to run for president, and settle this brand thing once and for all.
Delivering on what others expect of your brand is not, and never can be a function of how the principal feels at the moment — based on the events of the day, his body chemistry, or the galaxy’s balance with the universe.
Simply said, branding is more about one’s audience than one’s feelings. End of story!
To be funny or not to be funny is the Hamlet dilemma, but it should never be one for Jimmy Kimmel to ever consider. To be a successful brand, one must remember why people appreciate your attributes and continue to buy into your brand. Once that stops (brand buy-in) your brand will be lost and so will your customers over time.
Marketing is not about you. It’s rather all about your customers or, in this case, one’s audience. After hearing all day about the Texas school tragedy, could it be that the last thing viewers wanted to hear was another reminder of the day’s events? Here the activist Brand Kimmel decided to persuade rather than to entertain — and that’s not what made him achieve celebrity status or got him to the show.
Kimmel has dedicated a significant amount of time mastering his craft and has gotten where he is today because he’s excellent at what he does. Why, then, would he risk all of this success on a feeling that could best be handled outside of his show so his various audiences could get what he does best — providing a means to escape from the issues of the day and laugh?
So, the salient advice for Jimmy here is “shut up and clown.” Alternatively, he must decide whether he wants to run for president and establish himself as a political brand.
Oprah got it right when she chided us to stay in our lane to be successful in life. Having a dual brand in today’s segmented world is tricky and could have long-term negative brand effects if an intervention is not made expeditiously. And it’s for this reason why it’s always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought
“Stay in Your Lane!” — Oprah Winfrey
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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