OBJECTIVE boost awareness in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup
CHALLENGE Nike and Adidas had famous campaigns, enormous budgets and legendary athletes. Puma did not even have a positioning.
SOLUTION interviewing players we learned that consumers’ perception of Adidas and Nike’s was strikingly similar: the tough American/German coach driven by success with an almost militaristic approach discipline (just do it/impossible is nothing). Puma on the other hand was seen as more easy going, the coach that reminds you to have fun.
Semiotically, Nike and Adidas have both, for years, been using the language of Duty as the path to Glory (much as “the few, the proud, the Marines“). By talking to players we learned that all that hard work is just the cost of entry for any competitive endeavor: after that, what makes the difference is how much you enjoy yourself, how much you love what you do.
Like our competitors, we decided to tap into the Belonging instinct that rules team sports. But instead of insisting on the cost of entry (fulfilling a duty), we claimed Love, its chemical reward, awarding Puma the emotional high-ground.
RESULTS brilliantly executed by Syrup, the Love strategy became a viral sensation giving Puma more visibility than Adidas -the event’s official sponsor- in the weeks leading up to the World Cup.
Even after agencies changed, the brief kept paying off and lead Droga5 to Cannes Gold.
Imitation is certainly the highest form of flattery: today there are no fewer than 3 agencies and a dozen portfolios claiming credit for this work. If you encounter them, ask them about it. It’ll be fun.
As social beings, we have always looked to define our place in society.
Whether by a system of casts, nobility, landownership or other, rigid systems gave us a sense of identity and order, for the greater good of the species. These structures were so useful that across the centuries and continents our place in society was passed down from parents to children.
With the invention of agriculture 12,000 years ago, ancient hierarchies disappeared but were quickly replaced by new ones, based by our contribution to the group: laborers, merchants, warriors, priests, artists and rulers. Then mass democracy and capitalism did away with those distinctions and true social mobility was born. Our own fate would no longer be limited by our parents’.
What hasn’t changed in these 12,000 years though, is our need to define our place in society, and this is where fashion kicks in: while luxury had always existed (kings and priests from Papua New Guinea to Machu Pichu have always relied on jewels to advertise their place in society), the idea of ever-changing tastes is relatively new, and has accelerated tremendously as our daily lives grow increasingly removed from the farming cycles.
In fact, some claim that fashion helps us regain a sense of “seasons”, in a world of farm factories.
In short, both fashion and luxury help us regain a sense of social order. But one does it horizontally (where do i stand vs my peers), while the other does it vertically (how high do I stand in the food chain).