CommCore Blog and News

Jeb Bush or “Governor Pitbull” – A Lesson in Rebranding

The following blog is by CommCore Intern David Bloch

Jimmy Fallon, Snapchat and “slow-jams”—three things people wouldn’t typically associate with the conservative-leaning Republican Party. That didn’t dissuade Jeb Bush from taking some unusual steps within 48 hours of officially announcing his candidacy for president:

  • Giving an eccentric performance recently on the young-skewing Tonight Show, sipping on a coquito with Jimmy Fallon.
  • Participating on the show in a sexually suggestive R&B slow-jam in which he was referred to as “Governor Pitbull” and “The White LeBron.”
  • Bush also became one of the first politicians to directly partner with the social media outlet Snapchat, which has 100 million users, 81 percent of whom are under the age of 24.




At CommCore, we don’t usually wade into politics. And we generally advise our clients NOT to be like politicians who, for example, often evade questions entirely. That being said, businesses and their brands can learn a thing or two from Bush’s strategy:

  • Just as we counsel our clients, politicians need to “personalize” their brand. Jim Papa, VP of Global Strategy Group, is quoted as saying politicians have to “provide their audience with something about who you are that is…more than their credential.”
  • When Bush explained to an Iowan on the campaign trail how to take a selfie with him, he was countering the legacy from the damaging image of his father’s confusion at a grocery store scanner in his presidential race more than 20 years ago. We remind our clients that creating a compelling new brand narrative or story is the best way to erase an old image you wish to eradicate.