Adweek 2020: Behind the Brand Messaging of All the Presidential Candidates

We spoke with marketing experts on their effectiveness

Most of the hopefuls have played it safe in the early going.
Illustrations: Trent Joaquin; Source: Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential race heats up, candidates need to find ways to make a splash and stand out from a crowded field. Adweek spoke with branding and marketing experts about what each of the White House contenders has said so far with their logos, websites, slogans and music choices.

Overall, the candidates have played it safe, experts told Adweek.

“None of them jump at me,” said Ilan Geva, a branding expert. If they want to make a serious run at the presidency, they’ll need to do a better job of catching people’s eye. “You are a brand among brands; do something that marketers do,” Geva said. “Make yourself different—in message, in appearance, in logos, in colors. Appeal to me.”

The candidates also need to use language that appeals to the widest possible swath of Americans but that’s specific enough to energize voters and encourage them to head to the polls.

“When I look at past election cycles, there was usually a lot more bravado earlier on, and people had bigger ambitions,” said John Paolini, partner and executive creative director at Sullivan. “This is a very tentative group of people.”

To read more about the messaging behind each candidate, click on their picture below. This post will be updated to reflect the race as it narrows and November 2020 approaches. We’ll continue to cover this election cycle and you can read our full coverage at: https://www.adweek.com/category/politics/