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Puma marketer: ‘if every consumer knew about all our products, we wouldn’t be doing our job’

Adrian Toy speaking at HK Social this morning

Adrian Toy speaking at HK Social this morning

The regional marketing chief of Puma has said that the launch of a limited edition brand of sneakers was more about brand building than selling shoes.

At the beginning of May, the sports-lifestyle brand teamed up with online lifestyle magazine Hypebeast to launch a low-key campaign called the ‘Dim Sum Project’ to promote two styles of ‘Blaze of glory’ Puma sneakers – with no advertising spend, relying on social media, PR and a special event in Hong Kong to target ‘urbanites’.

Speaking at the HK Social event in Hong Kong this morning, Adrian Toy, Puma’s APAC marketing director told his audience that the campaign was more about “driving aspiration” than shifting stock.

“Projects like this are more about driving brand equity,” he said. “These shoes are not for everyone – they’re a niche product for a niche audience.”

He also said that too much exposure for Puma’s one-off products could back-fire.

“If every consumer knew about every one of our products, we wouldn’t be doing our job. The minute that happened, we would disenfranchise our urbanite target group,” he said.

Just 1,000 pairs of Blaze of glory sneakers were available globally – in 30 stores, 13 in Asia. 500 pairs were sold online.

The shoes almost sold out within two weeks of launch, Toy said.

The campaign began on 6 May with a teaser video created by Hypebeast and hosted on its YouTube channel.

Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter were used, with a heavy PR and blogger element.

“We focused more on Instagram than Facebook,” Toy said. “And a big part of the campaign was influencer seeding.”

The launch centred around an event in Hong Kong, to which bloggers where invited to meet the shoe’s designers. Content from the event ran in social media.

Toy said much of the launch’s success was thanks to teaming up with high-profile bloggers such as Matt Halfhill from popular sneaker-loving site NiceKicks.com.

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