Sunday, September 27, 2009
Shakespeare on brands and branding.
Last night we went to see a Public Theatre performance of "Othello" directed by Peter Sellars with Philip Seymour Hoffman starring as a Banana-Republic-clad Iago. Having loved Orson Welles' 1952 film version, in which Welles plays the title character, I found this production a bit meandering and the acting, overall, weak.
In any event, my ears perked up last night when I heard this dialogue between Cassio and Iago.
CASSIO: Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my
reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what
remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!
IAGO: As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some
bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation.
Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit
and lost without deserving....
It occurs to me that this brief debate between Cassio and Iago is the debate that often takes place within a brand. Cassio represents a brand's better instincts, that a brand must behave in a certain benighted way, and the conniving Iago represents a brand's basest attitudes--reputation doesn't matter, let's schtup the consumer.
Your brand--is it Cassio or Iago?
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 10:10 AM