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Why Donald Trump Has A Better Chance Of Becoming President Than Boston Had Of Hosting The Olympics

Why Donald Trump Has A Better Chance Of Becoming President Than Boston Had Of Hosting The Olympics

Yes, I got more than a little sick typing that sentence. I would rather live in a place where Boston is the host of the Summer Olympics than in a country where Donald Trump is the Commander In Chief. But let's move on. 

Politics aside, Its simple – Trump’s campaign is built around one clear, simple big idea - “Make America Great Again”.  Boston’s Olympic bid never had a clear, simple big idea and was doomed to fail.

You're No Ronald Reagan, Sir.


Trump has stormed out of the egomanical fantasy world he has painstakingly created for himself (much like Willy Wonka, just without the Oompa Loompas or Fizzy Lifting Drinks) to become the leading GOP candidate for 2016. As ridiculous and bizarro-worldly as this sounds, he’s taken the lead in early polling because he has taken a clear position on every issue he’s tackled. Whether you agree with him or not, you know where he stands. And everything he says + does is all built around a simple, grand, unifying idea of “Making America Great Again”.

Bill Clinton did this to great success in his first election by focusing on the economy. His team’s rallying cry, well documented in The War Room, was “Its The Economy, Stupid.”. And President Obama did the same in his landslide first victory. His might have been easier, because all he had to do was NOT be George W. Bush, but his “CHANGE” mantra more than got it done.

One of the best marketers in the Boston area whose posts, tweets and utterances I follow religiously is Mike Troiano, CMO of Actifio. (If you don't follow him yet, get on it.) He recently tweeted a great line which I’ll quote here - "Behind every big deal, seismic shift, or epic change in human thought is a simple story. Every. Single. One…”

All of our branding work at Breakaway is built around this concept - what we call a BIG Idea - a powerful, differentiated point of view that is the heartbeat of our partners' product, talent, branding, marketing and growth initiatives. (But enough self-promotion. Let's move on.)

If you live in the Boston area, one of the largest topics of daily discussion and news has been the Boston bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. What began as an exciting opportunity for the city to shine on the world stage became a predictable Boston bicker-fest between a group of global dreamers and a group of local realists. The number of people against hosting the camp grew everyday, especially after a brutal winter in which the regions outdated infrastructure fell apart in spectacular fashion. 

The Boston 2024 bid took off like Howard Hughes’ "Spruce Goose" jumbo airplane made of solid, heavy wood – and from the outset was plagued by horrible communication and nonexistent political support. It never stood a chance. Not because it was a bad idea- but because it was never been anchored by a simple big idea that people couldn’t wait to be part of. Had their leadership actually taken the time to develop a visionary message and story, the region would’ve fallen for it. Much the same way we actually believed Ted Kennedy's "True Compass" to be real.

But they didn’t, and as expected, Boston wisely pulled its bid out of contention today. (Great Dan Shaughnessy piece in the Globe here.)

And with any luck, Donald Trump will do the same before the end of 2015.

Or I’ll be moving to Canada. Sign up in the comments below if you want to join me.

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