Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Favorite Campaign Image

SemiObama posted a lot of images during the campaign. I mean, a lot. We ranked t-shirts, judged coffee mugs, compared Obama dolls, and even discussed the various forms of New York Times Obama swag, but we never really talked about our favorite pro-Obama image.

For me, it is the "Obama Next" graphic above. What I like about this piece is its synthetic simplicity. By "synthetic" I am referring not to something fake but to the process of synthesis. It collates patriotism (through its red, white and blue color palette), optimism ("got next"), an awareness of catch phrases and tag lines in popular culture ("Got Milk"), a very cool retro design, and a subtle yet compelling reference to race through the semiotics of basketball.

I also like that it incorporates an Obama-specific metaphor--basketball--as a form of political rhetoric. The ad reminds us that basketball is Obama's sport of choice, as opposed to Bush's more patrician, more Anglo, more exclusionary golf. Its pick-up-game lingo, "got next" also signals a generational shift, as if to say, Obama's is the next team to take the court of American politics.

As his presidency matures, we will start to write more about images of him as a president as opposed to him as a candidate, but, we couldn't resist this last bit of campaign SemiO. My hunch is he'll sink the free-throw . . .


1 comment:

dc said...

eh... if only the wnba hadn't destroyed the "got next" phrase. their "we got next" campaign just slaughtered the phrase for hoops fans.... and, as a basketball fan, all i can think of when i look at this poster is that horrible wnba campaign...