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I Must Not Think Bad ThoughtsDrive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams$
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Mark Dery

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677733

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677733.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

The Triumph of the Shill

The Triumph of the Shill

Fascist Branding

(p.94) The Triumph of the Shill
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

Mark Dery

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the emergence of Nazi iconography as a cultural brand. On January 13, 2005, the world learned that England’s Prince Harry had attended a costume party for A-listers dressed in Desert Fox drag (the Afrika Korps uniform worn by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, topped off with a swastika armband). Adolf Hitler—who lived before the Triumph of the Shill, before branding and marketing had infiltrated everything from business to politics to the presentation of self, in the turbo-capitalist West—deserves recognition as an intuitive master of what marketing professor Douglas B. Holt calls “cultural branding.” In Mein Kampf, the leader of the Nazis recalls his struggle to build the perfect logo that turned out to be the swastika. According to the design critic Rick Poynor, Nazi iconography such as the swastika engages us not only because of what it represents to the popular mind—the specter of absolute evil—but because it does so with a stylish command of imagery that has never been surpassed.

Keywords:   cultural branding, Prince Harry, Adolf Hitler, marketing, Douglas B. Holt, swastika, Rick Poynor, Nazi iconography, Nazis

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