Thursday, September 17, 2009

Franchising Imagination and Branding Life

I read a disturbing article the other day about Johnny Depp dressing up and cavorting around the stage at a convention as Jack Sparrow to promote Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. This followed the reading of an article a few days earlier about an athlete who needs to "watch their behavior or they will jeopardize their brand."

All of a sudden something that had been just a vague cloud in the corners of my mind hit me square between the eyes - in our marketing crazed world, the skills and imaginations of human beings have become commodities. We already have the "Harry Potter" franchise. Soon we'll be hearing about the Obama brand.

This phenomena isn't exclusive to sports, entertainment, and politics. I worked for a public library that was worried about their brand and I've heard of main line church denominations referred to as a franchise.

Does it bother anyone that a person's life is a business and imagination is simply a way to make money?

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