The Blog

AdWeek Asks: How Can Al Qaeda Restore its 'Brand'?

3:45 PM, May 3, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

It appears that somebody at AdWeek lost a pretty serious bet, because despite the half-hearted caveats and hypotheticals, this is possibly the most repugnant magazine article I've read in a great long while:

Adweek asked Brad VanAuken, chief brand strategist at the Blake Project, how he would (hypothetically) consult al-Qaeda going forward. "To live on past Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda must successfully launch attacks of at least the scale and shock value of the attacks of 9/11," he wrote—reluctantly, he said—in an email. "If this does not occur, al-Qaeda will eventually lose its cache."

Of course, al-Qaeda is on the wrong side of history. "Terrorism is a last-ditch effort to strike out in great frustration and anger when one's ideas have failed or been superceded by better ones," added VanAuken. Indeed, the current uprisings sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa reflect a much more attractive alternative to al-Qaeda’s vision, and speak to the universal human cry for freedom. Perhaps the question to be asking is what impact the demise of Bin Laden will have on the brand of Islam.

"No one has done more damage to the brand of that religion than Osama Bin Laden, hijacking the religion, manipulating its meaning to support a cause far from its intended purpose," Derrick Daye, publisher of the Blake Project's Branding Strategy Insider, told Adweek.

Something for the surviving members of al-Qaeda to ponder over a delicious glass of Florida orange juice.

So remember terrorists! Before you go out on that suicide bombing mission, consider any damage you might do to the brand. Al Qaeda's Q score has really taken a tumble lately...

(via Mike Riggs' twitter feed)

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers