Last night I watched as much as I could manage of Sarah Palin’s Alaska—the new show on TLC. It’s basically Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom meets The Brady Bunch (but without good old Alice). If you are as old as I am, then you remember watching Wild Kingdom and wondering “will Jim be swallowed by the giant croc or mangled by that charging lion?!” And on the Brady Bunch side, we pondered “whatever will happen at the Big Dance if Jan can’t get her hair to look right?!” Well, that’s pretty much the way it goes on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, where you can’t help wondering if Sarah might plunge to her death in a crevasse on national TV or whether Willow will ever finish getting dressed in her room while her boyfriend waits downstairs.
So why is this harmless show the subject of this branding blog?
Because it’s a brilliant move in the re-branding of Sarah Palin. It’s entertainment that puts her in a much better light that most of her media appearances and political rallies. It makes her human. It shows her dangling uncomfortably from zip lines and doing her homework on the home computer for a Fox TV appearance. It shows her with popular hubby Todd taking their kids fishing, and the kids can’t catch any. It reveals she’s just like every other working mom, getting chewed out by her daughter for being on her Blackberry too much.
What’s the impact?
Hard to say, when the show has many more weeks to go. But paired with her new book “America by Heart” coming out in a few weeks (already available for pre-order, of course) it could be a nice re-direct and a good way to make a tidy sum (did you see the size of that RV??!!). And when Republicans take over the House in January, she can also stay on her political soap-box to keep them on task and herself in view. All without being involved in the actual ugly sausage-making of public policy and governing. Sounds like a great re-brand to me. What do you think?