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Puma CMO: Ad is not encouraging unfair play

Mario Balotelli in Puma adThe top marketer for Puma in Asia has said that he hopes consumers do not misunderstand the new ad from the sportswear brand, which features football bad boy Mario Balotelli standing over a player he has seemingly just injured.

The ad, which launched globally last week with the rallying cry ‘Calling all trouble-makers’, sees the Italian striker get a yellow card as the words “Obedience will be discouraged” are voiced by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who is lounging in a hot-tub with two women wearing bikinis.

The ad, which has received mixed reviews on the brand’s Facebook page, is part of a huge rebranding push by Puma, which is hoping to move away from associations with fashion and lifestyle and be better known for sporting performance.

Adrian Toy, Puma’s APAC CMO, told Mumbrella that the intention of the ad was not to encourage unfair play.

He said: “We definitely believe in fair play and fairness is also one of our key brand beliefs. The purpose was to show that he [Mario Balotelli] is a player who is brave enough to break the conventional way to play the game, and yet is respected as a great player.  We hope that consumers don’t misunderstand,” he said.

After posting on 6 August, the ad has been viewed more than 650,000 times on YouTube.

The ad launched in Asia with support in out-of-home, print, cinema and digital media.

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