Wikileak’s Weird Desktop Wallpapers

One of several desktop wallpaper images at http://wikileaks.ch/support.html
My focus in writing for  this blog is on branding and communications — how organizations large and small, corporate and not-for-profit define themselves and disseminate their message.Right now building notoriety and/or brand presence is NOT Wikileaks’ highest-order problem — to say the least.They gathered explosive (and exclusive!!) content. They formed what you might call “distribution arrangements” with major news organizations. Let’s just say these blurred the line between PR coup and partnership coup.The net impact put Wikileaks in a positive marcomm position.  Just as companies try to have most people know of them through using their product, Wikileaks is in the situation that most people know of it through their product — the cables and documents they have gathered from anonymous whistleblowers.Their visibility is also tremendously heightened by the mythic story arc of director and, just-jailed frontman Julian Assange . Let’s not forget that news organizations seek out good stories — more than anything else. And, tragic as it may be, (perhaps because it is so tragic) Assange is a very good story.While browsing their site and Facebook page I came across one of the tools the organization has used to gain notoriety — downloadable desktop wallpapers that look and feel a lot like ads.  You can find them yourself by scrolling towards the bottom of the support page at  Wikileaks.ch or in the photos section on their Facebook page (which, BTW, has 1.2 million followers).I thought I’d post a few of them here. Many of them are quite cerebral in tone  — offering up nothing mor than their logo along with quotes from various people including Harry Truman (“There is nothing new in this world except the history you do not know”) to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (“One word of truth outweighs the whole world”) to Assange himself (“Every organization is built on a mountain of secrets”, “I enjoy crushing bastards”). That last wallpaper, BTW, is the most popular on their Facebook, with 903 “likes” as of this posting.They also make you have to think a bit — with their picture of fake newspaper called “The Embedded Journalist” filled with very one-sided stories of the Iraq war.Some have a kind of join-up feel to them — while employing a bit of humor. Like this one.They interestingly are quite anti-all major governments, and play off existing imagery many of us have of secretive regimes.And some of them are just plain weird (which is often a great tactic for getting viral distribution online). The one at the very top of the post if downright Dada.

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