When It Comes to Personal Branding, ‘The Governator’ Reigns Supreme

Is it just me, or do some people really have a knack for personal branding? Let’s face it: turning oneself into a highly-accessible and marketable entity is no easy task. I guess sometimes it just takes the right combination of self-confidence, charisma, and machismo. That being said, if you’re looking for a quick lesson in effective self-promoting, look no further than Arnold Schwarzenegger!

The one-time bodybuilder turned Hollywood superstar turned unlikely politician has recently announced the latest chapter in his lifelong quest to become the most uncannily successful human being ever to walk the face of this Earth. Yes, like it or not, “Ahnuld” is one successful individual—there’s just no getting around it. So, with his political career now behind him, what will he become next? Animated, of course!

That’s right, the seven-time Mr. Olympia and former Skynet Series-800 cyborg will next be seen as The Governator, the titular character in an animated series based on actual events that occurred during his former exploits as the eight-year Governor of California.

See for yourself! (I’ll bet you never knew how exciting his political stint actually was)!

Okay, so I may have been a little misleading about the actual events just there, but I certainly can’t be alone in finding humor in this turn of events. The show itself, according to the Guardian, is “loosely based on Schwarzenegger’s recent political career, with an animated post-governor Arnie fighting crime and natural disasters while trying to ‘make it home for dinner every night.’”

Oh, how I wish I were still a wee lad, able to pencil this kind of material into my busy Saturday morning schedule of playing video games and watching bad movies and cartoons! In all honesty, a show like this would have been right up my alley during my younger days. Sadly, I just don’t have the time for programming like this now that I spend my Saturday mornings, umm, playing video games and watching bad movies. (Sigh)

Well, in any case, I’m just so taken aback by this turn of events that I had to find a way to blog about it. I mean, the man was already a household name over two decades ago, and that distinction, for one reason or another, hasn’t seemed to falter in the least. His iconic stature has followed him from sports to entertainment to politics and now to his latest venture—an animated mash-up of everything that’s contributed to his identity up to this point.

People are understandably asking “Why?” To that I say, “Why not?!” It’s what he does. He moves full steam ahead with the unlikeliest of endeavors in mind. We may laugh, but we certainly can’t judge—not when his undeniable talent at promoting his image to the public has thus far been his greatest strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has asserted in the past that “many of his key life lessons [were] learned from sports and bodybuilding—trust yourself, trust your vision, don’t be afraid to fail and work like hell.” You don’t have to be a fan or supporter of his to know that those are words worth living by. Perhaps we’d all do well to heed such advice. If personal branding begins with confidence, then The Governator is more than qualified enough to be an authority on the matter.

What do you think of Arnold’s personal branding abilities (and his determination to laugh in the faces of naysayers)? And will you watch The Governator when it airs?

Image Credits

Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.


  1. Jill Tooley

    Okay, so first let me just say that I would watch the crap out of “The Governator.” I’ve never been the biggest Arnold fan, but I think my respect for him increased twofold after reading this post. Not because of his political career and not because of his acting career, but because the man is unstoppable!

    I had no idea that he faced so much opposition when he wanted to transition from bodybuilding to acting (or when he wanted to start bodybuilding, for that matter)…and he didn’t even let it faze him. He could have easily given up and faded away, but instead he chose to push through and market himself as the only man for the job. I mean, could you imagine ANY actor but Arnold Schwarzenegger in his various standout movie roles (Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, Predator)? I know I couldn’t! Everything he has is a direct result of his strong will and confidence, and THAT’S what makes his personal branding so damn effective!

    As usual, Joe…your post has sent me into a thinking spiral! 😉

    • Amanda Sneed

      I agree Jill–I respect him more after reading this too. He has done a great job at rising above!

      And I’ll admit, although I rarely watch cartoons, this little video sucked me in.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Glad I could initiate another “thinking spiral” for you, Jill. 🙂

      I’m not the biggest fan of Arnold’s political and film careers either, but I always try to give credit when credit is due—and Arnold is a guy who deserves more than a little credit.

  2. Scooby DOO!

    The guy is a machine; when he puts his mind to something, he gets it done. Dutch is a true life case-study of hard work. Branding is the same way. You can’t expect your brand to be an overnight sensation, you have to work at it over a long period of time. The journey may be long, but that’s what makes success worth it.

    Nice post!

  3. Peemo

    I will definitely be watching this. Ahnuld can do no wrong in my book!

  4. LK

    I was never big on Arnold’s Terminator movies, but I did like Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way, plus the California commercial always makes me wish I was on the beach in CA!!

    Oprah and Rachael Ray are a few other examples of people who have gone far with their personal branding.
    Oprah went from having her own talk show, magazine, book club, and now has her own tv NETWORK (plus she’s one of the richest women ever).
    Rachael Ray also made quite a name for herself through personal branding. She started with a cooking show on Food Network, and now has a magazine, cookbooks, a talk show, and a line of Rachael Ray cookware. Yum-O!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, Oprah and Rachel Ray are great examples of successful personal branding as well. I always see Oprah’s magazine in the check-out aisle of the grocery store, and I always chuckle at it for a moment. But at the end of the day, I know she’s having the last laugh. After all, we all know who Oprah is—and so will our children, and our children’s children, and so forth.

      Side note: A couple of years ago I watched “Kindergarten Cop” for the first time since I was, like, ten. Not quite as fantastic as I remembered it. “Jingle All the Way” is still classic, though. God I miss Phil Hartman!

  5. JPorretto

    You’re so right Joe! Love him or hate him, you know all about AH-nold. Somehow, he made that overly macho persona work in change of pace movies like Kindergarten Cop and Twins…

    • LK

      oh Twins!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      And don’t forget about “Junior.” Arnold was at his best when he was preggers.

  6. Juliette

    I always loved Arnold as an actor and I admit I was hesitant about him becoming governor of the state I often still think of as “home” but I’ve grown to really respect him as a politician and person in general. Even though folks made fun of him in the beginning of his political career he never let them stop him or slow him down.

    That said, I’m with Jill in that I will so watch “The Governator” and eagerly wait for its release on DVD!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I never really followed his political career, but I was always a fan of his movies. Nothing could top Arnold’s box office draw as an actor, that’s for sure. I’ll definitely be checking out at least one episode of “The Governator” as well. 🙂

  7. Vern-Matic

    I first heard about this on NPR, I mean the Governator was not a term of endearment he took that and made a dollar off of it. Bet the reporter that came up w/that wishes he copyrighted the name.

    I think they have some subtle underlying tones. Smart Cars that turn into evil robots!!! Smart Cars are evil… Or maybe just for people my size?!?!

    • Amanda Sneed

      Vern–You’re right! Ahnuld did a great job of turning a negative term and making it more positive, and making money off it! Way to go Governator! =)

      And I agree, Smart Cars are crazy-weird to me too!!!! But I’m guessing one day we will all be used to them, and our kids and grandkids will laugh when they see our boats of cars.

    • Bret Bonnet

      Vernon I think you’d made a GREAT side kick for the “Governator”. You work on computers (could be planting viruses related to SkyNet), you’re a body builder (just like Mr. Olypmia here), and you’ve got a funny accent.

      Ok… 2 out of three isn’t bad (you’re missing the accent), but still, I think you catch what I’m spitting! 🙂

  8. Amanda Sneed

    Cool topic Joe! =) This blog is making me think of more interesting ways I can write my own blogs.

    I’m with you Lauren, I was never big on the Terminator movies, but Jingle all the way was great! And I agree, Oprah and Rachael Ray have both done great jobs branding themselves! I see that Rachael Ray cookware everywhere!! I’m going to have to try it out.

    I think Ahnuld is one of those famous people that whether you love him or hate him, you know all about his career path, and have to admit he’s done a great job of self branding himself!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks, Amanda. 🙂

      Yeah, I honestly can’t imagine living in a world where no one knows who “Ahnuld” is. What a dismal world that would be!

  9. Bret Bonnet

    I <3 this post!

    What's next… is “Ahnuld” going to become the spokesperson for Rosetta Stone?

    I love how in the clip above he just grabs a letter off of a building's exterior sign and uses it as a weapon to defeat the evil robots… You'd think he'd know better after spending 8 years in political office – that's destruction of private property, and it is a punishable offense.

    I for one already don't like the direction that this cartoon is going – talk about a slippery slope! 🙂

    PS. What do robots need with money anyway!?!?!?

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      But if you don’t like the direction this cartoon is heading, you’ll be sorely disappointed to know that there’s also going to be a comic series, a video game tie-in, and an epic 3D-movie version of “The Governator” as well. At least, that’s Arnold’s plan. It may very well be a slippery slope, but THAT’S some serious branding!

  10. Leo

    Go Governator! I want to move to California! I’m willing to bet he is less crooked than most politicians. As for watching “The Governator,” I’m sure there will be better things to keep my mind occupied. If you’re wondering my thoughts on his branding, the man is a genius. Why shouldn’t he take his acting skills and money and get involved in politics? It seems to me that is what a lot of politicians are doing anyway, acting and throwing away money. The average politician doesn’t get near as much publicity as Arnold did, and for him to survive as long as he did under so much scrutiny and maintain a respectable reputation is amazing. I say more power to you, Governator!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I agree—an eight-year governorship is no small feat, and Arnold deserves a good deal of credit for his efforts, especially given the amount of pressure he was under to prove himself as a legitimate politician.

  11. Dennis Salvatier

    Haha…this is so 90’s cheesey animation, with an Adult Swim spin to it. I would totally watch this for the sheer cheese factor. I think Arnold has always been very good at branding himself. As a Californian I’m not a big fan of the crap he left behind when he left the governor’s office, but how I can stay mad at him after this?

    • Jill Tooley

      I’m not necessarily an advocate of his politics, but the man does know how to brand! You know how people say: “If you keep saying that long enough, people will start to believe it”? His story kind of reminds me of that expression. Arnold may not have been the first choice for the job in other people’s eyes, but he persisted until he made it anyway. I admire that!

      Thanks for your comment, Dennis, and I’m sure Joe will be happy that you got a kick out of the post! Your feedback is ALWAYS welcomed. 🙂

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Good point, Dennis. It’s hard to stay mad at someone whose ambition caters directly to our interests. I never followed his political career, so I can’t say much as far as his decisions as California’s Governor are concerned, but it’s tough not to admire Arnold’s approach to re-entering the entertainment world.

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