Mark Putnam

Mark Putnam
Faculty:
Adjunct

Mark Putnam has been a national political media consultant and campaign strategist for over two decades, helping elect 10 governors, 10 U.S. senators, dozens of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and an American president. Putnam has created some of the most talked-about political ads of the last decade, including the ad Politico called “the most memorable” of 2016 in which senate candidate Jason Kander assembled an assault weapon while blindfolded. 

Putnam also created the advertising for Roy Cooper’s upset North Carolina win over incumbent Governor Pat McCrory.  In 2014, a year when only four Democrats for governor won out of 14 “toss up” races, he produced the advertising for two of those winners – Governors Hickenlooper (CO) and Raimondo (RI).  Putnam also produced Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s advertising in her surprise 2012 North Dakota win.  The Washington Post said “Heitkamp’s huge over-performance was built on her quality as a candidate and the quality of her TV ads.”

Most recently, Putnam created the launch video “Told Me” for retired Marine fighter pilot Lt. Colonel Amy McGrath’s congressional campaign.  The video was viewed over 1 million times in four days and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in online donation.

His highest profile project was writing and producing Barack Obama’s 2008 election eve 30-minute television special that aired simultaneously on seven networks and was viewed by over 35 million people. In 2012, Putnam continued his work on the Obama Media Team, creating many nationally aired television ads, including the  “47 Percent” ad that the Los Angeles Times and Politico both called “the best” ad of the campaign.

He also wrote and produced the Michelle Obama biographical films “South Side Girl” and “Michelle” for the 2008 and 2012 Democratic conventions. “South Side Girl” was called “intimate” and “emotional” by Newsweek, and The New York Times called it “vivid.”

Putnam has had 12 ads named among the “Best Ads” of 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 by the Washington Post and has also won 97 Pollie Awards for excellence in political advertising. 

In all, Putnam has been a lead strategist and created national television advertising for five presidential campaigns, served as chief speechwriter for two presidential campaigns and has been a lead consultant on campaigns in 47 states.