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Prophet Brand Consultancy, For All Your Lorem Ipsum Needs

“Send a message to Washington,” urges the promotional materials developed for Americans Elect by Prophet, a branding consultancy headquartered in Boston. A message? What message?

The foundational message of Americans Elect is finally revealed in Prophet’s Americans Elect materials. Can you find it, down in the lower lefthand corner of their graphic, shown below?

lorem ipsum

Lorem Ipsum.

I could conclude that the placement of this nonsense phrase was a mistake. But, upon reflection, it seems a purposeful act, appropriate both to the work of Prophet and to the Americans Elect brand.

Prophet is still promoting its work for Americans Elect two years after the Americans Elect project appeared to crash and burn, rejected by American voters who saw through the populist charade of the organization, revealing the plutocratic skeleton underneath. Why would the consultants at Prophet celebrate this failure?

Perhaps what we perceive as the failure of Americans Elect was not actually a failure, from the perspective of the Americans Elect insiders. Perhaps the strange political theater created by Prophet, for its client Americans Elect, was a triumph of Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum is a designer’s tool for showing where ideas will later be inserted into a conceptually blank design. It’s the equivalent of saying “yadda yadda yadda”. First, we make a framework that will look pretty, designers say, and then eventually we’ll figure out the words, the ideas, to insert in the design.

The text goes like this: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, sit quod posse noluisse at, te nam posse vidisse philosophia, omittam dissentiet an est. An omittam elaboraret mea, vix elit quas quodsi no. Sit id offendit pertinax euripidis, quem populo corrumpit et nec. Ne est vidit debet…” The words don’t mean anything, but they provide the appearance of words that do.

Normally, a professional branding agency would seek to replace every instance of Lorem Ipsum in its designs before releasing them to the public. Ordinarily, leaving bits of Lorem Ipsum in a piece of work is considered equivalent leaving an editor’s comments in a published text. It’s sloppy.

When it comes to an organization like Americans Elect, however, the Lorem Ipsum is the message. The orchestrators of Americans Elect never really told voters what ideas they stood for, because Americans Elect wasn’t really about standing for ideas. It was political Lorem Ipsum. Americans Elect was dedicated only to the idea that American voters ought to eagerly lend their support to whatever corporate PR tells them to support. Americans Elect was about building the design of a political organization, and then inserting the ideas later. Just wave lots of flags, and they will come.

My interpretation of Prophet’s celebration of its Lorem Ipsum work for the Lorem Ipsum organization of Americans Elect is that it’s some kind of postmodern, poststructuralist, postgrassroots, postsincerity artistic statement. Very edgy. Very ironic. If you don’t get it, you’re not a Millenial.

Americans Elect is dead and gone. It’s so yesterday, just like Unity08 became after the 2008 presidential election.

Peter Ackerman and Kahlil Byrd aren’t gone, though. They, or their equivalents, will try to bring back their vision of idea-free politics for the 2016 presidential campaign, rebranded for a fresh go-around.

What should they call their new political organization? I have this suggestion: Cut out the pretense and just call it Lorem Ipsum. If they want to make clear that it’s a political organization, they can call it Lorem Ipsum for America.

5 comments to Prophet Brand Consultancy, For All Your Lorem Ipsum Needs

  • Bill

    How fitting. “Lorem ipsum” is to writing as astroturf is to grassroots.

    • J Clifford

      That’s an excellent way to put it, Bill. Visually, I also love the photograph on the right – in which a person is seen clutching several American flags in one hand – as if the consultants at Prophet are trying to tell us that ordinary flag waving isn’t enough any more.

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