What Is The National Interest?

I just read this article on CNN.com that the cute little Chinese girl who sang at the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing was actually lip synching. The actual singer was chosen for her voice, but deemed not cute enough for TV. CNN quotes the ceremony’s musical director saying, “The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

It cracks me up that the Chinese officials (who are used to controlling their media) did this “for the national interest” and may have made the country look like more of a joke. One thing I love about communists: they’re a very consistent brand.
I bring this up because it reminds me of clients who think that they are still in 100% control of what their brand is and how others will interpret it. Jim recently wrote about the knee-jerk reaction some clients have, assuming they’re in complete control of their brands.
It’s easy for creatives to snigger and poke fun of clients like this. And, yeah, maybe they deserve it. But when it’s our own clients, and when they start talking to themselves, and when we start listening, I think the onus is on ¬†us to raise a red flag.