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Malarkey: Political Storytelling

Posted in Advertising, Branding, False Advertising, Marketing, Squirrelly Thoughts

Vice President Joe Biden recently revived popular use of the word “malarkey” or “malarky” — a word that essentially means “nonsense.”

Our DuetsBlog friend Nancy Friedman, author of the award-winning Fritinancy Blog, covered “Malarkey” as the “Word of the Week” earlier this month.

So, imagine my surprise to pass by a restaurant called Malarkys in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past weekend; I couldn’t resist pulling over to snap a picture.

Then, imagine my surprise to find this minivan parked in front of Malarkys!

I don’t know how long the business has operated under this name, and I don’t know how long the minivan has worn the Romney-Ryan signs or been parked there.

What I do know is that stories can be told to explain, interpret, and distort the fact of this photo. No doubt, some fiction, some non-fiction, and some just plain misleading.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how storytelling is currently a buzzword among branding specialists, and how important storytelling is in our political process too.

This photo is a fact, the photo is not doctored, and I didn’t stage the props in it – I simply captured what I spontaneously witnessed with my trusty iPad.

Yet, I have no doubt that loyalists on both sides of the aisle are fully capable of weaving or spinning a multitude of stories to explain the fact of this photo to their political advantage.

Care to share a story about this photo and start a dialogue?