2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primaries: Branding Breakdown, Julián Castro
We’re 22 months out from the 2020 election. Already, 8 candidates have put their names in the ring to become the 2020 Democratic nominee for President. In the coming weeks and months, it’s expected that an additional 5-7 candidates will file campaign committees. As each candidate rolls out their campaign, we will breakdown their initial branding, including logo, messaging, launch videos, and more.
Former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Campaign Formed, January 12, 2019
Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Slogan: One nation. One destiny.
FiveThirtyEight’s take on Julián
Logo: The design uses a sans serif font with two tones of blue. It is bold and eye catching, but nothing spectacular. It emphasizes Castro’s Mexican heritage by drawing attention to the accent over the A. Overall, the logo is lackluster.
Castro’s tagline is “One nation. One destiny." He gives a nod to it in his announcement speech, saying “we must go forward as one nation, working toward one destiny...to be the smartest, the healthiest, the fairest and the most prosperous nation on Earth." As I say it out loud, I can’t help but conjure up the Pledge of Allegiance, “One nation, under God.” In a moment where our nation feels more divided than ever, messaging needs to be around cohesion. The attempt with this slogan is clearly to acknowledge and bridge the divisiveness that permeates society right now. On his website, under a title labeled “One Nation. One Destiny,” Castro says “Americans from all walks of life want the same thing: to do right by our families and have the promise of America fulfilled.” I go back and forth on whether this slogan accomplishes that. Does it remind us that we are all part of one nation, and we can have a collective destiny that is good for everyone? Or, cynically, will it be perceived as exclusive, as though there is only one destiny, and that is the destiny as laid out by Castro. His campaign will need to work hard to ensure that the messaging is inclusive of the diversity of people and differences of opinion. Here’s a look at previous Presidential campaign slogans.
Video: Castro has a 4 minute long video telling his story. It’s an intimate video, no b-roll, no bells and whistles. Just Castro in a room, reading off a teleprompter, family photos positioned behind him. He tells his story, lays out policy priorities, and announces he is exploring his candidacy. Unfortunately, a 4 minute video is far too long. It can’t be embedded in Instagram, and it far surpasses drop off times on both Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention, he doesn’t hit policy priorities or his announcement until the 90 second mark. His launch event video can be found here (Castro begins speaking at the 53:00 mark.)
Castro begins his kick off with a story of his mother’s activism and his grandmother’s history coming to San Antonio from Mexico. He speaks of the possibility of the American dream, referencing the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, immigrants, people with brown and black skin, Muslims, etc. It’s a message that will resonate with Democrats across demographics.
His big 6 issues fall firmly in the “progressive” bucket. Castro leads with pre-K education, a hallmark of his time as Mayor, saying he will bring pre-K education to all of the United States. He also hits on immigration, criminal justice reform, climate change, health care, and affordable housing.
Castro doesn’t shy away from taking a hit at Trump. You can find every opinion, analysis, and piece of data to support whether this is a good or bad idea. Every candidate will have to balance taking swings at Trump while simultaneously moving forward their message and policy agenda. In this instance, Castro knocks Trump’s inhumane border policies of separating families, as well as his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Castro’s career has centered around the support of Latino voters. He acknowledges that in the beginning of his speech by speaking of his mother and grandmother, through his logo design, and by weaving Spanish throughout his speech and in his digital presence. This population will be critical to his success, but he’ll need to galvanize support from other bases as well. At just 44 years old, he may be able to pick up some of the millennial voters as well.
Castro is far from the front runner, but he is certainly someone to watch. If he were to land in the White House, he would make history as the first Hispanic president.
2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries: Branding Breakdown
Click a logo below to read the branding breakdown on each candidate.