News24

DA: We didn't copy Obama

2008-11-17 14:14

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance re-launched itself as a "party of government" at the weekend, but you might be forgiven for thinking you've seen this all before.

Some say the DA's new logo bears a striking resemblance to a logo we've seen a lot of in the last two years: Barack Obama's election campaign logo.

But is this a case of political plagiarism?

"No," insists DA strategist and CEO Ryan Coetzee. "There was no conscious copying of the Obama logo.

"What is interesting though is that what we're tying to do with our new approach is to draw on the things that Obama did in his campaign, specifically to lessen racial divisions"

Rising sun

The DA's new logo depicts the sun with a blue background rising over rainbow-coloured ribbons. Barack Obama's logo also depicts a sun - without rays - with a blue background rising over red and white ribbons. Red and blue are the party colours of both the Republican and Democrat parties.

Obama's logo is the product of Chicago-based branding firm Sender. Owner Sol Sender told Salon.com the logo was a symbol of "hope".

"Sender's team came up with a white sunrise against a blue sky, over a landscape implied by red and white stripes. It also recalls the Japanese rising sun," writes Salon.com.

According to a study on DesignBay.com, which looked at the logos of successful American political campaigns, Obama's logo "scores a perfect 10 out of 10 for symbolism", and the use of horizontal stripes worked strongly in its favour.

"It is possible that Obama's logo gave his marketing the edge in his tightly fought victory in the Democratic Primary," says the study.

Good ideas

For Coetzee, the message behind the logo is clear and simple.

"The sun represents our optimism - our positive outlook for what South Africa could be," says Coetzee.

"It's about having a sense of optimism about things.

"The second element is the symbolism of the rainbow, which symbolises the diversity of South African people. It's one diverse nation united, working together for one future," adds Coetzee.

The old DA logo - in blue and yellow - also featured a rising sun element.

The DA certainly paid attention to Obama's campaign - ten days after the US elections, it published an article on the its website called "Lessons from Obama".

"Obama's win did not symbolise the victory of any racial group. It was a triumph of a society which strives to ensure that all citizens have the opportunities they need to take responsibility for their lives, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, and become the best they can be. This is the vision that animates the DA," it reads.

"The re-launch of the DA at Constitution Hill reflects our belief that this is possible. Everything that we do from tomorrow onwards will be geared towards building the non-racial centre of South African politics and consolidating our democracy. The lessons of Obama's success have great relevance for this exciting new phase of South Africa's political history."

So there is certainly something to be gained from studying the Obama campaign.

"From a campaign technique point of view, we look clinically at all campaigns around the world - including Obama's, which was very successful," adds Coetzee.

"But from a message point of view - that's just ours. We have our own core vision for SA and that's unique.

"Good ideas are good ideas."

Long process

Coetzee is mum on how much the process to rebrand the DA cost, but the thinking began immediately after the 2006 elections.

"It became clear coalition governments were the future, and that the ANC could lose support and possibly split, so we wanted to be ready."

Coetzee added the whole task of rebranding the DA and designing a new logo took over a year, with the bulk of the research taking place towards the end of 2007.

"We worked with an agency on the design side. I can't tell you how many logos we looked at. On this logo design alone there were about 15 variations. But in the end, this is the one we went with."

Comments
  • Zolani - 2008-11-17 14:47

    looks great, and Peacefull,not in your face like the ANC

  • tshitshiboya - 2008-11-17 14:51

    SIES DA

  • Mfowabo Shabangu - 2008-11-17 14:51

    Yeah right, you did not copy! If you intend to increase your paltry following you can start by being original and not stealing. You are like Shikota, both organisations are hyenas you live of the remains of others. You will be in for a schock come election time next year.

  • Mphula KP Napo - 2008-11-17 14:59

    lets just wait for election and hammerthem there. Those parties lack creativity and I think is totally unethical and absurd

  • Mendjos - 2008-11-17 15:01

    Yes DA copied Oboma?s logo!!Since the DA and COPE (SANC/SHIKOTA/SADC/COP) are on bed, copying is their hobby. Firstly, the two hared the color for their Log. I.e. Blue, green, yellow, white, red in not orange, nevertheless COPE copied 99% f ANC color. DA copied Obama?s colours, the next moment they will change the name..ooopps they have already copied the Democratic name (usa). Not initiative, not innovative, can not finish the sentences without a name ANC..mmmmm!!!!!!

  • Vaaark - 2008-11-17 15:02

    The DA logo inspires a sense of freedom and is easy on the eye. The ANC logo looks like a 1950's commie road works design. The COPE logo is creatively devoid.

  • Dries - 2008-11-17 15:05

    It will probably be "Yes, we can"... Shame, siestog,...

  • Leena - 2008-11-17 15:05

    Mfowabo Shabangu you are offensive, disrespectful and don't deserve the freedom we fought for in this great country.

  • Shosholoza - 2008-11-17 15:07

    Well done Helen and co. Unlike other parties in this country you have understood that time does not stand still and that tradition itself is also a dynamic process. It seems that you are keeping with the times and reinventing oneself shows foreward thought, unlike some parties who are stuck in the past and identify themselves in oppostition to others, and cannot even offer half decent service delivery!

  • Sarel - 2008-11-17 15:07

    If we are going to start and throw mud at each other about a logo, let's ask the question: Why does the SA National Flag have so many ANC colors in it?

  • Jannas - 2008-11-17 15:08

    The comment of Mfowabo Shabangu leaves much to be desired. Referring to others as animals. What happened to civilisation?

  • Geyser - 2008-11-17 15:10

    Somehow, DA just does not want to abandon the Israeli blue color from their logo. I guess there must be dual loyalty

  • Geyser - 2008-11-17 15:12

    The DA logo has the Israeli blue color in it. Thye just don't seem to want to abndon that color. I guess dual loyalties

  • Frank S - 2008-11-17 15:13

    Once again, us South Africans are as unoriginal and uncreative as ever! oh come on! not a copy? GRRRR!!

  • Mandla - 2008-11-17 15:13

    Its beautiful but a copy of Obama's. The COPE one is ugly. Anyway beatiful logo dont win you elections. I predict 17% for DA and 10% for Shikota. The ANC will obviously win this elections.

  • Jaco - 2008-11-17 15:13

    Dear Mfowabo, Wake up... Using a good idea for good use is not always stealing and you have no proof of this. PS and Hyenas.. You don't live in the bush anymore.

  • Andy - 2008-11-17 15:18

    It looks good and promising that one day this organisation will rule this country under democracy.

  • Mary - 2008-11-17 15:19

    Give the DA 100% for getting the insiative going and giving the people something to vote for. DA you are our way forward

  • Elizabeth - 2008-11-17 15:19

    It is a very apt description, the new logo is very peaceful, please note though (to the reporter) "The DA's new logo depicts the sun with a blue background rising over rainbow-coloured ribbons." The sun is actually against a white background...and not a blue one...check your facts!

  • Deon - 2008-11-17 15:30

    Do i sense that Shabangu is feeling threatened? Wonder why?? Nice logo DA!!!

  • SA patriot - 2008-11-17 15:31

    You are like Shikota, both organisations are hyenas you live of the remains of others. You will be in for a schock come election time next year. - Mfowabo Shabangu Why is that? Are you and your despicable brethren going to go and 'kill for Zuma'. Seems like you and your kind are the only savages walking around looking for blood. Allow elections to be free and fair.

  • Donva-Anne - 2008-11-17 15:31

    Cathryn Reece - please note the logo is against a white background and not a blue as stated in your article. Only the circular shape is similar...do we have to resort to pettiness? Excellent logo of peace and harmony. Well done DA!

  • Langs - 2008-11-17 15:33

    hahaha!!!!! Copy and paste

  • Joe333 - 2008-11-17 15:34

    Excellent logo! Inspirational! Seems to me that the ANC supporters are green, yellow and black with envy! They could use a change to that war-like logo of theirs. Perhaps someday the ANC will also become a political party but I won't hold my breath. To Dries, you must be blind; the slogan appears at the bottom of the logo!

  • David Donde - 2008-11-17 15:35

    yes, but is it enough? see http://www.daviddonde.com/wp/?p=673

  • Sky Captain - 2008-11-17 15:37

    Hey Everybody... my website is blue, I must have copied the f*** sky! Oh noes!!! It's a tragedy! Our economy is going to fall over because of it... wake up, what matters more: 1) Copying Obama's logo, or 2) Firing a President and causing our economy to tumble?

  • Tupac - 2008-11-17 15:40

    Yet another DA blunder,its sad to copy such and international thing, i think they will be sued by Obama if he finds out

  • Maxine - 2008-11-17 15:41

    How disappointing.... half the logo exact copy of Obama logo. Where's your originality!

  • kamawa - 2008-11-17 15:42

    No wonder the shikota members suddenly have grown fond for the DA they are both copy cats. Change is good bt not this stunt that the DA has pulled. As for shikota come on guys leave the ANC life behind in order to convince ppl that indeed you are not disgruntled.

  • Mark V - 2008-11-17 15:43

    Using their colours on a national emblem like our flag, the ANC effectively gave everybody the right to use those colours for it now belongs to the people. The ANC's powerhungry shortsightedness is starting to cost them!

  • Big G - 2008-11-17 15:44

    it's called Design Inspiration. As a designer I can tell you designers find and look for inspiration all over and Obama and everything he stands for is inspiration, his logo included. That being said -- this logo is not a COPY it's an ADAPTATION. What if a South African built a car that looked like some of it's design features came from a BMW? Will the BMW fans cry all day long? Doubt it. Leave the DA be, their new logo looks great.. lighten up, why have some people become so anti-everything.. :(

  • Bonginkosi - 2008-11-17 15:46

    The DA really is "Dis-illusioned Alliance", why cant they be original. We all know they copied Obama's logo. If they think they will ever govern in this country they need to think again....Them and Cope will compete over the 1/3 leaving the ANC with a cool 2/3 majority.

  • Mark V - 2008-11-17 15:46

    Using their colours on a national emblem like our flag, the ANC effectively gave everybody the right to use those colours for it now belongs to the people. The ANC's powerhungry shortsightedness is starting to cost them!

  • Bonginkosi - 2008-11-17 15:46

    The DA really is "Dis-illusioned Alliance", why cant they be original. We all know they copied Obama's logo. If they think they will ever govern in this country they need to think again....Them and Cope will compete over the 1/3 leaving the ANC with a cool 2/3 majority.

  • Bonginkosi - 2008-11-17 15:46

    The DA really is "Dis-illusioned Alliance", why cant they be original. We all know they copied Obama's logo. If they think they will ever govern in this country they need to think again....Them and Cope will compete over the 1/3 leaving the ANC with a cool 2/3 majority.

  • Bonginkosi - 2008-11-17 15:46

    The DA really is "Dis-illusioned Alliance", why cant they be original. We all know they copied Obama's logo. If they think they will ever govern in this country they need to think again....Them and Cope will compete over the 1/3 leaving the ANC with a cool 2/3 majority.

  • Dave - 2008-11-17 15:47

    No matter if it was a crib or not, any logo that needs explaining is a flop! If the DA want to promote the rainbow nation, then draw a rainbow for goodness sake. A great logo is one that the target audience can understand, relate to, and embrace from the outset. Any ambiguity or vagueness simply requires a lot more money to promote. I doubt if this logo is shown to 10 different people, without explanation, that they will all come up with the same ideas.

  • Mpho - 2008-11-17 15:47

    Although I found the use of "Yes we can" during the re-launch a little plagiaristic, it's in good spirit. I wish it was that simple for black people of south africa to forgive and forget. The fact of race will take us a long time to overcome in this country until DA itself decide to elect a black person to be it's president or cadidate for country's president. It is very sad to find out that in a country like south africa there could be NO ONE after Madiba for president. Who do I vote?

  • billy - 2008-11-17 15:47

    THEY MITE HAVE GOT A BIT OF AN INFLUENCE FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN FAIR ENOUGH, BUT BEAR IN MIN MIND THAT THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC PARTY ...ANC WE ARE REALLY TIRED OF YOU. BEING SOMEWHAT PARTLY A BIT OF CONTRIBUTERS IN THE LIBERATION OF OUR PEOPLE, DOESN'T QUALIFY YOU TO BE DEMOCRATIC IN GOVERNING OUR COUNTRY THUS, THE CORRUPTIONS WITHIN YOUR GOVERNMENT TAKE PLACE FROM THE HIGHEST SEAT TO A COUNCILOR WE ARE TIRED TIRED OF FALSE PROMISES.IF ANC WINS THEN SOUTH AFRICA IS VERY IGNORANT... LET'S "COPE"

  • citizen - 2008-11-17 15:48

    At least COPE and the DA have something new to offer, unlike the ANC. Hope, amongst other things. DA logo definitely less militaristic than SACP and ANC logo's. Perhaps this is a "sign" of change this country has long needed.

  • Mark V - 2008-11-17 15:48

    Using their colours on a national emblem like our flag, the ANC effectively gave everybody the right to use those colours for it now belongs to the people. The ANC's powerhungry shortsightedness is starting to cost them!

  • Kolobe - 2008-11-17 15:49

    Copy cats....exposed...

  • Zola - 2008-11-17 15:50

    This striking resemblance can never be a matter of coincidence. DA have plagiarized their new logo. What a shame. The spinning is not going to help, just admit, apologize and all will be forgiven.

  • Werner - 2008-11-17 15:53

    Have the DA not learnt that copying won't win you an election. You have to steal in order to get "the respect of the people"..

  • Frank du Toit - 2008-11-17 15:55

    Obama logo is a winning MODEL and it makes business sense to use winners like Big MacDonald has done worldwide.

  • Mpho - 2008-11-17 15:55

    I wish all our political leaders could agree to debate just like they do in america, or do we just copy logos and slogans?

  • Crazy Boy - 2008-11-17 15:59

    I don't see any black reperested there so this logo represent racism!!!!

  • Crazy Boy - 2008-11-17 16:00

    I don't see any black reperested there so this logo represent racism!!!!

  • Marcus - 2008-11-17 16:00

    It's colourful and new, unlike the tired old green, yellow and black. Wishfull thinking Mandla. The result will be more like: ANC 45%, COPE 20%, DA 20%. It's gonna be interesting in government after the 2009 elections. The question is, will the ANC ever learn to accept the essence of democracy; namely opposition. And can they lose gracefully?!

  • Marcus - 2008-11-17 16:00

    It's colourful and new, unlike the tired old green, yellow and black. Wishfull thinking Mandla. The result will be more like: ANC 45%, COPE 20%, DA 20%. It's gonna be interesting in government after the 2009 elections. The question is, will the ANC ever learn to accept the essence of democracy; namely opposition. And can they lose gracefully?!