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Why Marketing loves a pot-smoking, partying Michael Phelps more

When Michael Phelps won his first slew of Olympics Golds he turned a hero with an array of fans. Then he spiraled downwards. Blame it on pot, and the party. The snickers grew louder, and some brands pulled out. Then the magic started. The 'waterman' pulled himself out of the hole with supreme effort. Pretty soon, the Golds were back. In Rio.

Michael Phelps has now moved on to legend. In the process he's become a godsend to Marketing.

People love heroes. They worship legends. To go legend you have to do the impossible and yet be vulnerable and therefore relatable. A Gold-winning Michael Phelps is aspirational. A redeemed Michel Phelps who gets on up after a bad fall, and triumphs is both inspirational and relatable. Why? 'Cos people love and connect to those who fall, get up, and smash on to glory. That story is far more appealing than the one about success without any hint of failure.

A pot-smoking, partying, crashing, redeeming, and winning Michael Phelps is perfect for Marketing and for Brands. You hear me?

Now brands, queue up!


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