These are America's 50 most patriotic brands. Guess which famous flag-waving brand isn't there
New research suggests some surprises in what consumers believe is a patriotic brand.
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
We've come to that time of year when we consider the true meaning of patriotism.
Or, as the Brits call it, getting away from Europe to show how small we are.
With this in mind, the brains at Brand Keys -- a "brand loyalty and emotional engagement research consultancy" -- decided to ask 4,750 real adults which brands they considered patriotic.
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Consider, indeed, what this might mean.
Is it brands who epitomize the greatest American traditions? Or could it be brands that symbolize a new America, the one that doesn't want to ban all people of certain religions and nations from even entering?
Perhaps these 4,750 real adults weren't sure.
At the top of their Patriot League, for example, aren't brands that automatically wrap themselves so actively in the red, white and blue.
Instead, it was Jeep and Disney that rose to the top, with a 98 percent patriot rating.
I'm not entirely sure what these two brands have done in particular to emit an aura of patriotism. I don't think of either Disney movies or Jeep SUVs as especially patriotic.
Close behind was Levi Strauss (96 percent), followed by, no, oh, really, Ralph Lauren at 95.
Then come Ford, Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels.
Can one conclude therefore that it's patriotic to drive your truck, soak up some caffeine and then drink yourself silly?
Harley-Davidson and Gillette are the next great patriots. Following them are Apple, Coors and Sam Adams.
Yes, the same Apple that makes its phones in China. The same Apple whom Donald Trump will force to return to the US or, um, else.
Gatorade, Amazon, Zippo, Hershey's and Kellogg's also place highly. (You can see the whole list here.)
But there's one brand that's nowhere to be found in the Top 50: Budweiser.
Some might find this odd. This is the brand that has renamed itself "America" for the summer.
Yes, the bottles don't say "Budweiser". They literally say "America."
It's peculiar, then, that these consumers didn't immediately stand to attention, put their hands over the hearts and grab a Bud with their spare mitt.
I asked Brand Keys about this glaringly unkingly omission.
I wondered whether, for some odd reason, Budweiser wasn't among the 248 brands from which these researchees had to choose.
However, Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys, told me: "Budweiser is on the list and is part of the set of brands we evaluate. Unfortunately they have not been in the top 50 brands, those rankings being #1 to #19 this year, accounting for ties."
Why might this be? Do consumers believe that this Bud just isn't for them, patriotically speaking?
"Their resonance for the value of 'patriotism' was only 60 percent," Passikoff told me. "Which ranked them 47 of a possible 51 spots, again, accounting for ties."
Passikoff did offer a small clue about what Americans believe is patriotic.
"When it comes to engaging consumers, waving an American flag and having an authentic foundation for being able to wave the flag are entirely different things, and the consumer knows it," he said.
Those of excessively dry countenance might feel that Budweiser is trying too hard, given that it's now owned by a Brazilian-Belgian conglomerate.
Perhaps, though, it's the appearance of some very modern brands that shows how America -- and its view of patriotism -- is changing.
Starbucks, J. Crew, Kraft, ABC-TV, Nike, and Old Navy aren't exactly the first brands that many would associate with excessive dollops of patriotic fervor.
It seems, though, that people think they're laced with it.
And when it comes to humans, they can't necessarily rationalize why they think the way they do.
They just do.
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