Branding America

Ford Motor Company, scion of 20th Century innovation, may also hint to the future of the US economy. Ford is ascending again, by appealing to Americans‘ bootstraps values—rejecting the government bailout and acknowledging consumers’ thin wallets. The new F-series pickup trucks use a fifth less fuel than competitors, but rather than marketing the model as environmentally-friendly, Ford is selling it as a money-saver. Recently Microsoft made a pragmatic splash by launching the Surface tablet via an investment in an existing company, rather than starting from scratch. Projecting pragmatism may the best way to profits and the best way to get elected, too. The ideological fervor of 2008 has given way to a more sober political contest this year; less about ideals, more about who can get the job done. It remains to be seen whether voters will judge Governor Romney’s opportunistic positions or President Obama’s compromises as the winning pragmatism for the economy and for the future of brand America.

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