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Happy, shiny brands

Barack Obama's campaign sold us on the idea of hope and optimism. Judging from recent brand makeovers, corporate America is banking on hope and optimism to sell us on everything from colas to cream cheese.

Happy, shiny brand logos, however, are not enough to tap into the energy that President Obama helped to unleash. The lesson to be drawn from Obama's successful campaign is that we are in the era of action, not just words.

The marketers that best captitalize on this wave of optimism and change will be those that actually do something positive and new.

Marketing that shouts and interrupts needs to make room for marketing that provides a useful service to its customers (think Nike+, Southwest's "Ding" or Lucky's iPhone app).