28 Feb 2003|Christoper Ireland

I’ve been home sick all week, so I’ve gotten a full dose of war coverage. I don’t usually watch violent movies, so I’m less prepared than most to view scenes of widespread destruction while sitting on my couch. Maybe that’s why I was so startled by the branding. Every channel, from the local stations to CNN, packaged and promoted their war content as though it were a product. I realize this is not new–branding of media content has been around for decades–but what surprised me is how inappropriate the branding was. Nearly all the shows used titles, colors and animations that would do well on the shelves of Walmart, but were stark and superficial on TV. MSNBC’s “Operation Iraqi Freedom” banners could easily grace a box of Rice-a-Roni. NBC’s branding suggests they offer the luxury version of the war, while CNN’s branding can only be described as “GI Joe meets MasterCard.” On second thought, maybe that is appropriate.

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