Puma Social, the platform created by the sportswear apparel brand to recognise and celebrate unconventional athletes, has released the latest installation.
Puma Social celebrates the "After Hours Athlete”; The Ping-Pong players, Darts players and recreational Bowlers, the aim was to create a new category of athlete – one the majority of people could identify with and belong to. Now in its fourth year, Puma Social has grown into a social movement incorporating social events, social media, apps, films, and a sense of belonging to the Puma Club.
The latest installation is an online film that rails against the “fake” and “vapid” world of reality television. The film aims to build on the Puma Social philosophy; that life deserves to be played and enjoyed with others, that channel surfing is not a sport, and sunrise is the only elimination ceremony.
The short film captures the spirit of fun, energetic late night activities and competitive bar-sport warriors in a bid to inspire the millennial generation. Through the film, Puma urges its audience to break free of the fake world of reality TV and challenges them to create their own stories with friends and teammates via the Puma Social platform.
Created by Droga5, who worked with internationally acclaimed director Fredrick Bond, the film features content from 12 reality television shows, which were created from scratch by the team to feature in the film.
This year Puma Social will step up its events, which vary from city to country, but all involve social sports in a themed bar. This year's events will roll out across Brazil, France, Italy, Russia, China, Japan and the United States, culminating in the largest Puma Social Club event to date in London. Puma will create the Puma Yard in East London which will operate for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Puma Chief Marketing Officer, Antonio Bertone said of the campaign: “It takes a lot of humility for a sports company to celebrate something as insane as an After Hours Athlete but since PUMA is a sport lifestyle brand it gives us the liberty to mix things up a little bit. Part of what we try to do from a marketing standpoint is to show our consumers people they can relate to and see a little bit of themselves in,” he said.
How can you go wrong when you embrace and celebrate everyday people? Unlike rival sportswear brands, which rely on a stream of elite athletes to communicate ideas of greatness, Puma has set its sites on the everyday people who buy their clothes. Rather than celebrate the elite few who have achieved greatness, Puma’s strategy was to celebrate its audience and elevate the ‘After Hours Athlete’ to greatness.
It’s fitting that Puma has created a social platform, via both digital channels and the physical world, to engage their target market rather than advertising. By recognising these unconventional After Hours Athletes, Puma earned kudos and was able to tap into the bar culture and arenas of our after hours sports heroes, without ever really mentioning or showing alcohol. A smart strategy which looks certain to come into its own with the London Olympics Puma Social Club, which will put Puma at the centre of the global party celebrating with the fans.
Puma has built a strong entertainment platform. Stretching from online to actual events, the strategy is sound, the films are cool, the entertainment of the events is high with strong engagement from a committed fan base.
I give it 4 stars.