We love our brands here at BrandFreak, but this week's e-mail bag contained a tribute to them that put us to shame. Sure, we've worked hard on the hundreds of blog items and thousands (millions?) of words in service to branding, but never have those words been sculpted into verse. That's right: It's a poem about brands. Robert Barrows, a California-based PR guy who has also run for Congress, was gracious enough to give us permission to publish his work in full. It's posted after the jump. Here's a snippet:
They used to make flags in America
Hooray for the red white and blue
Now the flags come from China,
And our dog food and toothpaste comes
From there, too
We presume Barrows wasn't writing to get the attention of the Paris Review (or sound like Bruce Springsteen, come to think of it), but his motivation is serious enough. After all, this is American Manufacturing Week (Oct. 2-9), a rather sobering period during which we're not asked to cheer for brands made in the U.S.A., but to contemplate the ones that aren't—and that's most of them, from Rawlings baseballs (made in Costa Rica) to Radio Flyer wagons (made in China).
Here's one of those instances when being branding's house organ gets a little hard. Foreign manufacture keeps those profit margins looking nice, but few Americans will be able to afford to buy brands at all if they don't have jobs—and this country has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs since 1998, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Well, thanks for the poem, Mr. Barrows. It's too bad you had to write it in the first place. Click through for the whole poem.