When you put someone on camera, there are some “rules” to think about.  Although it is important to understand where the rules are, it is equally important to know when and how to break them. In marketing we call this branding.

Do a Google image search for Ted Ligety. Scroll through his racing shots and look at the interview stills, he always wears a Putnam hat. With a second look, it is also awkwardly pushed up to keep the brim from casting a shadow over his eyes. Although it makes filming challenging, there is a brilliance.

Face it, in an interview the head is the only thing guaranteed to be on camera. Because I spend time in Park City, I have seen several Olympic team jackets. They have a lot of sponsor logos on them. The trouble, these logos rarely, if ever, make it on camera during an interview. If they do, the logo is so small its unreadable.

Just looking at athlete hats, from the Winter X Game athletes, NASCAR drivers and even golfers, there are a wide variety of sponsors. However, the majority of these sponsors are selling consumables. Which makes Putnam’s choice of head sponsorship so interesting, after all, there is a big difference between high end investment firm and energy drinks.

There are a few questions that remain:

  • Out of the sea of sponsorship hats, does the difference between a high end investment firm and consumables help Putnam stand out?
  • I imagine Putnam has a highly focused customer profile. How does Ted Ligety help them reach their audience?
  • How much web traffic will Putnam’s website during the 2018 Winter Olympics?
  • How do companies measure their ROI on purchasing an athlete’s forehead?

Unfortunately, unless I find a job with their marketing team, the odds of finding the answers to these questions are slim. What do you think?

One thought on “Breaking Rules

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