After ‘Sharpiegate,’ Trump Campaign Store Sells Branded Markers
There are many forces that want to hit Alabama this year, but they will do so as college football teams eager to defeat the Crimson Tide and not as extreme weather occurrences. Before it swung north, President Donald Trump thought that Hurricane Dorian would devastate the Heart of Dixie, electing to emphasize his point by apparently altering a map with a marker, a move the internet would dub "Sharpiegate." In the wake of the controversy, the commander-in-chief’s campaign store has begun selling branded markers, making the items the latest in a seemingly never-ending list of goods that he and his challengers are issuing ahead of the General Election.
Let's drive @CNN and the rest of the FAKE NEWS absolutely crazy!
Get your official 'Trump Marker' NOW.
— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) September 6, 2019
Given his polarizing nature, one should not find it shocking that Trump has received backlash not only for modifying the explanation of the hurricane’s path but also for striving to profit off branded markers that, to critics, will forever have an affiliation with an error.
The definition of a party of grifters. Make money off your own stupidity. https://t.co/oajCDbYamk
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) September 6, 2019
Possessing “the special ability to drive CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy,” the writing instruments are selling as $15 five-packs through the Trump Campaign online merch store, allowing the president to have a relatively fast follow-up to customized straws that he is using to take jabs at the Democratic Party and the move by some businesses to promote paper straws. While there are plenty of opportunities for people to question the need for the branded markers to forge a link to an erroneous account of a natural disaster’s path, there are just as many chances to look at the items simply as promotional goods.
Buy the official Trump marker, which is different than every other marker on the market, because this one has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy! #KeepMarkersGreathttps://t.co/eakgICM0LR
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 6, 2019
Writing instruments are always going to enjoy substantial promo credibility, and since Trump finds Sharpies something to write home about in the signing of documents, the campaign could have issued the branded markers long ago to give supporters another way to support all-things-Donald. The timing of this release, though, shows that the campaign does not mind that the branded markers have the tie with a perceived miscue. In other words, he is finding it easy to shrug off his fallibility in the name of raising campaign funds. The political realm has thus become so gonzo that gaffes are marketable. Branded markers are the beneficiaries this time around. Which promotional products might be next?