iTunes Beatles Lincoln Tunnel billboards

Lincoln Tunnel Apple iTunes Beatles billboards

The New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel

Well, the good news is that we’ve lost the Beatles as Manson’s Angels of the Apocalypse. The bad news is that now we have the Beatles cult of personality.

Soviet military parade, Red Square, 1941

Joe Stalin filled the Russian public space with Vladimir Lenin. Now, we have Steve Jobs doing the same here in America with John Lennon.

And then there’s the damage to the Beatles brand. The Beatles magic was their accessibility. Everyone knew that unless sired by a satyr they were never going to be a Jagger or a Richards. But, all you had to do to be a pea in the pod with Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr was to boycott the barber. Apple’s attempt to portray the Beatles as supermen lets the air out of the brand-vehicle’s tires.

Lincoln Tunnel Apple iTunes Beatles billboards

A closer look at the Apple iTunes Beatles billboards installed at the NJ side of the Lincoln Tunnel

iTunes Lincoln Tunnel Beatles billboards at night

The iTunes Lincoln Tunnel Beatles billboards at night

From Up-There-Somewhere to There-There?


National Malaise CURED!

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Winter Wonder Brand

A version of the article appeared in print on February 7, 2010, on page 9 of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
. . .
The Olympics have done their part in replacing war with sport as the way nations earn respect. Modern nations compete by branding their identities, and hosting the Olympic Games is the biggest branding opportunity a nation ever gets. . . .
. . .
The Olympics are branding Canada to the world, but they are also branding Canada to Canadians. At first we grumbled about the cost and did not take ownership of the whole expensive spectacle. But as soon as the Olympic torch relays began this fall, Canadians started lining the route by the thousands to see Olympians and other local heroes carrying the torch aloft through their communities. From Alert, the northernmost community on earth, to the American border and from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, the torch relay has brought the country alive and brought it together.
. . .

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An article on the Olympics and national branding with no mention of Leni Riefenstahl? And – with the exception of Maestra Riefenstahl’s rule-proving exception of Berlin – has any Olympics projected anything except a small, small world Disney mish-mash of diversity?