Puma India & Toast Events: Working in tandem for a strong experiential proposition
Puma India has taken strongly to experiential as a marketing strategy to engage consumers and build brand recall. “Experiential marketing has always been very key to us. We want our consumers to experience the brand and not just buy it or wear it. There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into Puma and we want to communicate that,” said Abhishek Ganguly, MD, Puma India.
In the last month Puma has executed two major events to the effect: The Do You campaign and the celebrity football match with Thierry Henry.
Puma had launched Do You on the 11th of October 2016, on the occasion of International Girl Child Day, as a movement to incite the strength of women. The initiative was spearheaded globally by international supermodel and actress Cara Delevingne. “Due to her rebellious spirit and popularity all over the world, it gave the brand the right kind of visibility across the relevant target audience. Cara’s popularity on social media created a lot of hype about the campaign, this in turn led to a lot of engagement with her fans and followers, and the campaign was talked about by top media houses all over the world,” said Abhishek Ganguly, MD, Puma India.
The mission to inspire confidence and encourage women to follow their heart saw a huge number of participants in Jio gardens at the India leg of Do You. The awareness created by PR agency Madison PR and Digital agency 22 Feet, reaped fruits as approximately 2300 women from different walks of life came together to practice the abdominal plank and fun Zumba sessions. Do You campaign created a Guinness World record for 1623 women holding the abdominal plank for 60 seconds.
The on-ground execution and management were taken care of by agency Toast Events, who had also managed Puma’s previous experiential initiatives. We are referring to Thierry Henry’s visit to India orchestrated by Puma, that saw a footfall of 3000 at NSCI Dome, to cheer the Arsenal star. “Puma has always played a key role in reaching out to its audience. With Thierry Henry’s visit to India, there will be a major boost in the fan growth for Puma and an even higher interest for football as a sport,” said Ganguly on the occasion.
In Mumbai, Thierry Henry had trained some grass-root level players from Arsenal Soccer School and Reliance Foundation Young Champs. This training session was then followed by a 5-A-Side football match against Team Faster which consisted of ISL players like Dhanachandra Singh, Shankar Sampingiraj, cricketer Aditya Tare and some Bollywood celebrities like Harshvardhan Kapoor, Dino Morea.
The Winners of the friendly match, refereed by Anil D'souza (from Arsenal Soccer a School) were Team Thierry Henry Squad. The fans were later given an opportunity to interact with the legend himself for a quick round of questions, making it a wholesome experience for all.
“We’ve had a really long association with Puma. Right from the time when Puma set up in India 9 years ago, till today, it has been quite the evolutionary journey. In a constant process to create something new and innovative - it has been rather phenomenal and much to say an exciting roller coaster ride,” said Harshad Chavan, MD, Toast Events, commenting on the experience of working with the brand.
Puma believes in using new age media in order to keep up with the fast and social media hooked millennial. ‘Right from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook and Snapchat each of these platforms lend to our marketing campaigns but not necessarily all together. The digital age consumers are more inclined towards absorbing content from digital\social media and hence, Instagram, Twitter and FB are of prime importance to us,” said Mr Ganguly, speaking of Puma’s marketing mix.
Earlier in the year, Puma had hosted the Ignite Your City Campaign that involved a 5 km run, and obstacle course. Organized by Toast Events, the first run took place in Bangalore on May 7, followed by other major cities across India.
“Each of the events has been so dramatically different from each other, it keeps the adrenaline pumping, the mind churning and the feet running. The preparation process is rather simple and quite unbelievable, starts with unlearning what we did in the past and ends with creating something fantastic on ground from the enriched experience,” said Chavan. Incidentally Toast Events has worked on all Puma events till date. By their own admission, Nilesh Gaurav, Director of Toast Events, claims to be an encyclopedia of all Puma events in India till date.
However Do You shall occupy a special space in the heart of Toast as Chavan puts it, “Putting India on the world map and well, setting the Guinness World Record, now that doesn’t happen every day.” A three-part event with Usain Bolt remains another of their favorite experiences.
Puma is all inclined to keep up the sporting fever to engage enthusiasts. “We will continue to do exciting and engaging initiatives so we stay relevant in our consumers mind,” said Ganguly on a concluding note.
Around The World