When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stepped up to the podium, his words didn’t get my attention (and not just because my Hebrew vocabulary is eight words on a good day).
Instead, I zeroed in on the backdrop depicted in the photo below.
If I’m reading this correctly, Mobileye, a maker of technology for autonomous vehicles, is the proud sponsor of Mr. Netanyahu’s press conferences. Perhaps the Mobileye sponsorship includes press conferences for other high-ranking Israeli officials as well.
Acquired by Intel a couple years ago, Mobileye is essentially an Israeli company. I can appreciate that the company wants to do its patriotic part. I’m just not convinced that sponsoring government press conferences is the way go.
Worth More Than A Thousand Words
If you’re the branding czar for Dunkin’ Donuts, buying a connection to the New England Patriots taps into the emotions of a sizable part of the country. Bill Belichick in a hoodie offering startling insights like “We won the game because we executed the game plan and scored more points” nicely syncs with a piping hot cup of joe and a raspberry jelly donut.
But is Mobileye’s association with Israeli government events like the Prime Minister’s press conference a brand-building moment? I can’t see it.
How many shekels did Mobileye fork over for the naming rights? I don’t know.
JPMorgan Chase locked up arena naming rights for the new home of the Golden State Warriors, now called Chase Center, for an estimated $300 million for 20 years. Even if the Mobileye-Netanyahu sponsorship arrangement cost a measly few million, Mobileye would have been better off funding an endowment to help disadvantaged kids in Israel study engineering.
America, In Sponsorship With…
You can describe President Trump with many unflattering words — gauche, misogynistic, racist and bombastic are four that come to mind — but the man has maintained the sanctity of the White House press conference with a classic backdrop consisting of a gold curtain and the American flag.
Still, I’m bracing myself for the day when a Trump press conference delivers this frame.