Branimir Brkljač: Unplanned Letter From New York

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I tell you – real drama! With that I ended with the packing, left the room and went towards the airport.

Here’s how it went…

I was walking down the Fifth Avenue on Saturday, walking by “Trump Tower”, and lo and behold, on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance there was a dude only in his briefs and boots, a cowboy hat on his head and guitar in his hands, singing. And he’s good at it. On the back of his pants, or to be more precise on his butt, large letters read “TRUMP”. Behind him, an old lady standing, proudly holding up a banner “WOMEN FOR TRUMP 2016”. A large crowd gathered around them, everyone with their smartphones in hand, recording everything. I also noticed one genuine TV crew, recording the entire circus, and I see a reporter really invested in the story. Not to be lazy, I also grabbed my phone, as you can see from the enclosed.

I don’t know whether he was for or against Trump (the little old grandma is certainly for), I don’t know if he was there just joking or he was serious. Perhaps he was only promoting himself? Were he and the granny a team or were they there on their own accord? But anyway, none of that is important for this story. There’s nothing better than this image to symbolize the character of the election campaign in America. And to be clear, it’s not like this only in America, we just need to look around ourselves – “the principle is the same, everything else are nuances”. Politics in general, and the election campaigns in particular, have become not only a part of the entertainment industry, but one of its main content. It’s now a new phase of the reality show genre – version 2.0.

This street performance was just another reminder that in this period you can’t find a safe place to hide from this topic. And the problem is not that this is a topic in a public space, in which ideas and programs are confronted and talked about – after all, that is the essence of a democratic political system. But you can’t find anywhere something to read and understand about where the programs of these two candidates differ. Nobody talks about the programs, if any even exist. It all came down to the dilemma HE or SHE, and the assumptions on what will it mean for America and the world if HE wins or if SHE wins, while the campaigns of both camps are focused on how to make their candidate more appealing to voters. And that’s why the presidential race here lurks at every turn – from posters, souvenir shops, shop windows … Literally everywhere you turn there are – elections!

And the television. On screens of news channels there are omnipresent scoreboards with a dial which counts down the days until “The Election Day”, as if the end of the world is coming. The dial in the lower right corner of the screen is inexorably counting down to D. Day. In commercial blocks on those channels, self-promotion announcements for election night roll. As in the movie trailers, a dramatic voice announces the hosts and their guests, who will spend that night with you, and which you simply mustn’t miss – all accompanied by dramatic music. Apparently, a great battle for the ratings is being waged. Because, to be honest, serious money is at stake. Next such opportunity will appear only in four years. Unfortunately, the US has not yet invented early elections, which are held at least every year.

And the pre-election TV programs! Everything is drama! As I packed on Saturday to leave, I was watching one of the news channels announcing two rallies to be held simultaneously in two different cities, which were just about to start. At one will speak Hillary, at the other Trump. In anticipation of these historical events, there’s a show with six or seven “political commentators” and “analysts” who prepare the audience. At one point, the host interrupts one of them and dramatically tells the news she had just received “from well informed sources” that this time, none other than Melania Trump will personally announce her husband!!! O my… what drama!!! What will she say? How will she describe him? What can we expect? Drama … Guests in the studio immediately jump in with the predictions and forecasts on what Melania could say, and what she should say, and how this could be received by Trump supporters, and how it could be received by those still undecided. And then… cut… we go on stage of the other meeting at which the main star will be Hillary, where it seems that the rain could spoil her appearance. There is now quite naturally a difficult dilemma of how it may affect those present, and how it might affect the still undecided who are watching the whole thing on television.

Then another cut, and we return to the scene of the previous rally where we follow the live broadcast of the landing of Trump’s jet … He and Melania come out, holding hands. Melania approaches the microphone, Donald two steps behind her in a suit and a white baseball cap on his head that says “Make America Great Again”. The tension grows… a dramatic pause… and finally… Melania begins her speech… After five minutes of this… nothing… another cut as we return to Hillary, who has already started to speak. She’s in ecstasy, her voice already mildly hoarse. She points out that everyone knows well that she has dedicated her entire career to fight for the poorest and most vulnerable, for families who barely make ends meet, and that she would continue doing so as president of the United States. Cheers… we watch as the enthusiastic masses wave slogans… But then, suddenly, something unexpected happens… it starts to rain. On her pale blue suit one can clearly see visible traces of drops falling. But no… she doesn’t flinch, she’s still preaching… Again a cut as we return to the Trump rally, just as Donald kisses his Melanija (on the cheek), and congratulates her on the rea… given speech. He grabs her by the… hand, and they turn and go into the distance… as the sun sets behind the parked jet.

I tell you – real drama! With that I ended my packing, left the room and went towards the airport.

That’s how it went…

Oh, yes… I almost forgot. I actually came to New York for the second “Fast Company Innovation Festival”, where I was also last year, about which I wrote. This year it was again a great experience – four days filled with great stories and interlocutors, inspirational visits to the most creative companies. I want to share this with you again this year. While I was there I wrote almost the entire text, and again I titled it “Letter from New York”, just as last year with the idea to release it immediately when I get back. But, when I saw this bare-ass dude with a guitar, that was a revelation for me, and I realized that any text I send in this election week, with the headline “Letter from New York”, and which wouldn’t have the US presidential election as the subject, would be a miss. And at least we marketers know how important planning is and that timing is everything! So this text was quickly born.

Let’s see who the next Big Brother will be, and then we’ll get back to serious topics.

Source: Media Marketing

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