Saturday, February 13, 2010

O Canada the Brand

Nations are brands – with recognized attributes and personalities. The history of national behavior colors perception of these brands – often turning them into crude caricatures. The North Koreans are not known for their playfulness nor Italy for its martial arts.

O Canada – Is yours a strong brand among nations – with a distinctive and compelling personality? Does the name "Ca-na-da" call to mind vivid, positive images?

Thirty-three million people living amid natural splendor, Canadians play a brutal game on ice and suffer snowy winters – except in British Columbia where they host the Olympics. They wrestle with the legacy of the English decisively defeating the French in 1759 – though apparently not really. Canadians/Canadiens sing one national anthem – with two sets of lyrics/paroles de chanson.

Does cultural bifurcation dilute the clarity of Canada’s brand? Let’s not lapse into further cliché and caricature. Last night’s opening ceremonies to the Olympics said it all.

No one doesn't like Canada. Just as no one doesn't like an honest deal sealed with a firm handshake.

O Canada, you are doing fine. You don’t need to explain, express or exploit your nationalistic passions. You’re as sturdy and admired as a well-made pair of boots. No need to try to be glass slippers.



Thomas said...

When I look around me,
I can't believe what I see
It seems as if this country
Has lost it's will to live
The economy is lousy,
We barely have an army
But we can still stand proudly
'Cause Canada's really big

We're the second largest country
On this planet Earth
And if Russia
Keeps on shrinking
Then soon we'll be first
(as long as we keep Quebec)

The USA has tanks
And Switzerland has banks
They can keep them, thanks
They just don't amount
'Cause when you get down to it
You find out what the truth is
It isn't what you do with it
It's the size that counts!

Most people
Will tell you
That France is pretty large
But you can put
Fourteen Frances
Into this land of ours
(it'd take a lotta work, it's take a whole lotta work)

We're larger than Malaysia
Almost as big as Asia
We're bigger than Australia
And it's a continent
So big we seldom bother
To go see one another
But we often go to other
Countries for vacation

Our mountains
Are very pointy
Our prairies are not
The rest is
Kinda bumpy
But, man, do we have a lot
(we gotta lot of land, we gotta whole lot of land)

So stand up and be proud
And sing out very loud
We stand out from the crowd 'cause
Canada's really big!

**** Barenaked Ladies, "Canada is Really Big"

brandsinger said...

Beautiful. Very funny, Thomas.

On the other hand, why the heck not? What's wrong with being huge?

One of the insights in the book "Why Johnny Can't Brand" is that the best branding ideas are often staring us in the face. If you're the newest or the oldest or the first or the most popular -- use that as your brand. Flaunt it! Biggest on earth ain't that bad!