This article originally appeared at the German daily, the Algemeine Morgenpost Rundschau. Translated from the original German by Tom Winter at Fort Russ.
Whether it's a Putin tiger, Putin smartphone, Putin bikers, Putin super-spy ship, Putin tank, Putin World Cup, Putin games, Putin dog, or Putin cat - if it says "Putin" on it, it causes consumers to focus.
They tend not to focus too closely, but this is the subliminal nature of advertising. By this metric, "Putin" is way ahead of Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonalds.
Especially popular are referenda. When the "Putin" brand stands behind it, approval rates tend to hit 90%.
Due to its unusual success the brand has understandably attracted commercial piracy, mainly in the West.
Advertisers simply put the well-known name in front of products that often have nothing at all to do with Putin, just to generate the clicks.
"Unfortunately, we can do little to prevent the mis-use. People in the West lack a normal human understanding of impropriety, that you cannot make claims about someone which are simply untrue."
"That's just taking unfair advantage of an established brand"
According to polls, the Putin brand is highly sought after in neighboring Ukraine. 84% of Ukrainians can imagine a Putin-branded Ukraine