Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is Canada Really a Better Name Brand than the U.S.A.?

A story came out today about how Canada has edged out the USA for top spot in a tourist brand survey. I'm sure that gets all us Canadians feeling good about ourselves. But let's look into this a little further, and find out why we got to first place before we take a victory lap.

Apparently the people who responded to the survey had not heard of some of the juiciest stories in the Canadian news recently. The story of the Ku Klux Klan guy at the Canadian Legion stayed home in Canada. So in the end it was a good strategy not to charge him with a crime.

Another story that didn't get out was the cross burning on the lawn of an interracial couple. Apparently the perpetrator was not in the KKK and he meant nothing by it, he just thought it was a funny thing to do. That's good for him, it'll give him a lot to laugh about while serving time in prison.

Colonel Russell Williams, of the Canadian Forces, raping and killing women near his home base, in Ontario Canada. That story didn't get out either.

We were lucky that the Canadian stories which did make it big world wide were the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, polar bear watching expeditions, and wine tasting tours. (free wine is very appealing). The polar bear story was so viral that any web sites featuring polar bear videos crashed from heavy traffic.

But all the free wine and polars bears together cannot explain how we ousted the USA from the number one spot. Americans are in shock, how could they lose such an important competition? According to USA today, it has nothing to do with people getting strip searched and X-ray photographed as they board planes to the USA. No, that couldn't be it. So according to Jayne Clarke, of USA Today, it's because "Obama has not delivered on his promises".

Daniel Rosentreter, FutureBrand's chief strategy office is quoted as saying "What we've seen this year is the shine may be off. Obama hasn't delivered what the world expected."

Excuse me, what was the world expecting again? OK I remember now. 1. "Don't bomb Iran", and Obama delivered. 2. "Save the world from total economic meltdown caused by the Republicans". Obama delivered. 3. Don't be an as*h*le. Obama delivered.

So, Jayne and Daniel, I don't think the USA brand is sinking because of Obama. It is more likely sinking because even with Obama as president, the rest of the word knows that the people of the USA are still pretty much the same as they were under Bush. And far from looking better under Obama, the Conservatives in the USA look like they are borderline insane. Not very appealing, and not surprising that the USA brand slipped to fourth place.


  1. The Americans need not worry too much about this slippage.

    Given the current predictions about the state of the U.S. economy, and particularly the U.S. dollar, the U.S. will assume the role of low-cost tourist destination once enjoyed by places like Mexico and Spain.

    So long as one stays away from the cities, which will shortly be burning again.

  2. I could argue that the the mood in the USA is similar to the angry mood in the USSR after losing the war in Afghanistan, when their economy was slipping due to the costly arms race.

  3. That 'angry mood' (reflected in last Tuesday's results) is largely due to a subconscious realization, but psychic 'denial,' about the collapse of empire as a result of permitting the vested interests to plunder the economy.

    Americans' anger seems to be pointed (or has been manipulated to point) at the Democratic administration (who, of course, are simply playing the hopeless cards left them by the Bush II regime) rather than at the true villains (the banks, the military-industrial complex, the ideological and religious right) who have led the nation into this decline.

    As with the fall of the Roman Empire, the decline of American hegemony is sending ripples throughout the world.

  4. Slightly off topic, but relative to the Canada vs. U.S.A. question.

    Canada, which has a history of tolerance is, according to Marci McDonald's new book, The Armageddon Factor, running the risk of a growing faith-based intolerance.

    In McDonald's contention, a significant part of the Conservative Party's 'hidden agenda' is a 'return to a Christian society' ... much along the lines long lobbied for by the American religious right. Her book builds on the material in her Walrus article, Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons.

    I finished the book late last night and tossed and turned for hours afterwards. It'll take me a day or two to try and get her material into some perspective, but I have no reason to believe her allegations - as far as they go - are unfounded.