Branding Political Leaders

Academic Literature

Busby, Robert (2012). ‘Selling Sarah Palin: political marketing and the ‘Wal-Mart Mom'' Chapter 17 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment (ed) Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing. New York: Routledge: 218-229.

Conley, Brian Matthew (2012). "The politics of hope: the democratic party and the institutionalization of the obama brand in the 2010 mid-term elections" Chapter 10 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment (ed) Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing. New York: Routledge: 124-135.

Cormack, Patricia (2012). "Double-double: branding, Tim Hortons, and the public sphere" Chapter 13 in Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson and Jennifer Lees-Marshment (ed) Political Marketing in Canada. Vancouver; UBC: 209-223.

Cosgrove, Kenneth M. (2009). ‘Branded American politics.’ Case study 5.4 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Political Marketing: Principles and Applications (1st ed). London, New York; Routledge: 129-131.    

Cosgrove, Kenneth M. (2012). ‘Political branding in the modern age - effective strategies, tools & techniques,' Chapter 9 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment (ed) Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing. New York: Routledge: 107-123.

Downer, Lorann (2015) Political Branding Strategies: Campaigning and Governing in Australian Politics (Palgrave) – see chapter on Rudd in Government ‘Crafting and Crashing Kevin07’ and ‘The Lessons of Branded Politics’

Ervik, Bjørn. (2015). "Does the Mayor’s Party Brand Matter? The Prospect of Statewide Parties’ Policy in Local Government." Local Government Studies no. 41 (3):339-361.

Guzman, Francisco, and Sierra Vicenta (2009). "A political candidate's brand image scale: Are political candidates brands?" Journal of Brand Management 17(3): 207-217.

Ietcu-Fairclough, Isabela (2008). "Branding and Strategic Maneuvering in the Romanian Presidential Election of 2004: A Critical Discourse-Analytical and Pragma-Dialectical Perspective." Journal of Language and Politics7, no. 3 : 372-90

Johansson, Jon. 2009. To thine own self be true: branding, authencity and political leadership - the case of Don Brash. In Political Marketing: Principles and Applications, by J. Lees-Marshment. Oxon and New York: Routledge

Knuckey, Jonathan. (2010). ‘Political marketing in the United States: from market-towards sales-orientation?’, Chapter 7 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Jesper Strömbäck & Chirs Rudd (eds) Global Political Marketing, London: Routledge: 96–112.

Landtsheer, Christ'l De, and Philippe De Vries. (2015). "Branding the Image of a Fox: The Psychological Profile of EU President Herman Van Rompuy." Journal of Political Marketing no. 14 (1/2):200-222.

Lloyd, Jenny (2009). ‘After Blair . . . the challenge of communicating Brown’s brand of Labour.’ Case study 8.4 in Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Political Marketing: Principles and Applications (1st ed). London, New York; Routledge: 232-234.

Marland, Alex (2014) ‘The branding of a prime minister: digital information subsidies and the image management of Stephen Harper’ in Political communication in Canada: meet the press and tweet the rest edited by Marland et al.Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Marland, Alex (2016) Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control, UBC Press.

Martin, V. (2009). "Emotions used in a strategy of seduction: political marketing and the study of speeches. The case of the 2007 French presidential elections." Revue Francaise du Marketing 225: 51-65.

Naeimi, Mitra (2014) Case Study 4.2 ‘How Political Branding Affects Politics; Studies of Hassan Rouhani’s Political Co-branding Strategy’ in Political Marketing: Principles and Applications 2nd edition Routledge.

Neale, Larry and Hughes, Andrew and Dann, Stephen M. (2008) Exploring the application of personal brands and opinion leadership in political marketing. In ANZMAC 2008, 1-3 December 2008, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.

Needham, Catherine (2005). ‘Brand leaders: Clinton, Blair and the limitations of the permanent campaign’. Political Studies, 53(2): 343–61.

Needham, Catherine (2006). ‘Brands and political loyalty’. Journal of Brand Management, 13(3): 178–87. 

Parker, Brian T. (2012). "Candidate brand equity valuation: a comparison of u.s. presidential candidates during the 2008 primary election campaign." Journal of Political Marketing 11(3): 208-230.

Pich, Christopher, and G. Armannsdottir. (2015). "Political brand image: an investigation into the operationalisation of the external orientation of David Cameron’s Conservative brand." Journal of Marketing Communications.

Scammell, Margaret (2014) Chapter 4 George W. Bush: the ultimate brand?  In Consumer Democracy: The Marketing of Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Scammell, Margaret. (2014). Chapter 3. Political brands: the latest stage of political marketing and the case of Tony Blair in Consumer Democracy: The Marketing of Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Seawright, David. (2013). "“Cameron 2010”: An Exemplification of Personality-Based Campaigning." Journal of Political Marketing no. 12 (2/3):166-181.

Seidman, S. A. (2010). "Barack Obama's 2008 Campaign for the U.S. Presidency and Visual Design." Journal of Visual Literacy 29(1): 1-27.

Simons, Greg. (2016). "Stability and Change in Putin's Political Image during the 2000 and 2012 Presidential Elections: Putin 1.0 and Putin 2.0?" Journal of Political Marketing.

Smith, Gareth (2001). The 2001 General Election: Factors Influencing the Brand Image of Political Parties and Their Leaders. Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 17(9/10): 989-1006.

Smith, Gareth. (2009). "Conceptualizing and Testing Brand Personality in British Politics." Journal of Political Marketing 8(3): 209 - 232 

Smith, Gareth, and Fiona Spotswood (2013). "The brand equity of the liberal democrats in the 2010 general election: a national and local perspective." Journal of Political Marketing 12(2/3): 182-196.

Speed, Richard, Patrick Butler, and Neil Collins. (2015). "Human Branding in Political Marketing: Applying Contemporary Branding Thought to Political Parties and Their Leaders." Journal of Political Marketing no. 14 (1/2):129-151.

Spiller, Lisa and Jeff Bergner. (2011). Branding the candidate: marketing strategies to win your vote. California, Praeger.

Tempest, Richard. (2016). "The Charismatic Body Politics of President Putin." Journal of Political Marketing.

Walsh, Patrick, Galen Clavio, Susan Mullane, and Warren Whisenant. (2014). "Brand Awareness and Attitudes Towards Political Advertisements in Sport Video Games." Public Organization Review no. 14 (2):127-138.


US - Obama

“Branding the Candidates: Obama and McCain” 3:38

“Designing Obama” 1:48:49

“Ellen McGirt: Obama’s Brand” 3:47

"FOX: Branding Obama” 2:27

“John Pilger: Obama is a Corporate Marketing Creation” 5:28 also

“Positioning: Campaign 08 – Brands, Messages, Marketing Lessons” 3:38

“Obama as a Brand” 8:12

UK - Gordon Brown

“Saatchi Chief Exec. On Branding Gordon Brown” 3:57

New Zealand

Campaign manager/Minister Steven Joyce discusses branding of the NZ National Party as Team Key in the 2014 NZ election 

“Branding New Zealand Leaders” 6:43

"David Shearer, New Leader, NZ Labour Party: Press Conference (Re-Branding)" 11.32

“Russell Brown/Media 7: Branding and Spin in New Zealand” 6:35

“The Hollow Men Trailer” (NZ expose about National Party) 1:32

Australia - Kevin Rudd brand

“Kevin Rudd Labor Ad: the Chaser’s War on Everything” (parody) 0:51 

Kevin Rudd interviewed by Kerry O'Brien of ABC TV- 7.30 report about the “Loss of the Rudd Brand”


Keenan, Elizabeth (2007) 'Kevin 07: Labor's winning brand.' Time, December 3 pp. 24-31 for cover see,16641,20071203,00.html

Levant, E., Rosen, H., Roche, G., Gupta-Sunderji, M., Gossage, P., Blake, J. (2004, May 24). Repositioning Brand Harper. McClean's, 117, p. 32 - see

Justin Trudeau brand called the skywalker brand

The puzzle to the keyThe Economist (September 2014) – Article highlighting how John Key and National’s popularity survived the scandal-ridden 2014 NZ election campaign due to the strength of Key’s personal brand.

Edit page