A legacy of campaigns

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If you are still recovering from Cannes and looking to see more legendary marketing campaigns, I recommend a visit to The Museum of the City of New York to see its latest exhibit "Campaigning for President: New York and the American Election."

Opened last evening, the exhibit runs until November 4 and chronicles each US election - beginning with a commemorative button from George Washington's inauguration in 1789 - and is a fantastic and rigorous collection of the posters, pins and other campaign materials: license plates, masks, pantyhose, fans, dolls, hats and paper dresses. More impressive perhaps is that most of it comes from one man's personal collection; the late Jordan Wright began the collection at 10 years of age!

Unlike the pushes we feature in The Work, there was no ROI gained from this campaign paraphernalia. However, the results for 43 out of the 44 races that the exhibit catalogs are in - and from a marketing standpoint there are some interesting conclusions to draw from the evolution of creative to the use of a competitor's slogans and imagery to directly challenge claims.

As New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was at last night's opening, pointed out one of the more remarkable insights is how little has changed in American politicking. "You can see the best and the worst of campaigning in this exhibit," he said. Bloomberg's company sponsored the exhibit.

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