Puma goes off track to grow a social clothes brand


How are multiple brands advertised so that the consumer decides that one product is better than its competitor? One perfect example of this brand “rivalry” is illustrated by the sportswear market, and more specifically, by the competition that exists between Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Out of the three, Nike brings in the most revenue per year, followed by Adidas, and then by Puma, but they all virtually sell the same types of products. All three of these company’s websites boast products in all areas of the sports world: football, running, basketball, and many other sports; men’s and women’s apparel; shorts, pants, shirts, hats, socks, and shoes. With these companies selling a very similar product, there is really one major aspect that sets the brands apart: advertising.

It’s worthwhile  to compare the 2011 campaigns of Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Nike’s “The Chosen” focuses primarily on surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding and tries to include these extreme sports into the wide realm of sports that Nike caters to. The Adidas All In  features huge stars, such as David Beckham and Katy Perry while promoting a wide range of sports as well. However, Puma’s campaign is very different than Nike and Adidas. Puma’s “After-Hours Athlete” Campaign focuses on the non-athlete, or the average person. It depicts a group of young people out at the pub, having a beer and playing darts while wearing Puma brand clothing.

Nike, Adidas, and Puma all usually cater to a very similar audience – the sports enthusiast. Puma’s 2011 campaign, however, caters to a different niche of the market and shows that a person does not have to be a typical athlete in order to wear the Puma brand. The company must have decided that they could have more success in a different niche, something other than the sports enthusiast niche. In fact, one gets a sense from the After-Hours Athlete campaign that Puma is moving more towards being a social clothing brand. In the adverts, we see “real” people – no celebrities, no football players, no one extremely athletic. It focuses on the social aspect of a young person’s life and tries to relate to the everyday realities that they experience. The ad also showcases the brands versatility. A young athlete can go from wearing his Puma shoes on the field to wearing his puma shoes in the club.

So does the consumer want a brand that makes them feel like an athlete without really having to be an athlete at all? Will the After-Hours Athlete rise to the occasion and bring Puma from a strictly sportswear company to a more social clothing brand? As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see how Puma sales compare to those of Nike and Adidas and how the new advertising techniques will affect how Puma is perceived.

Posted By Elise.

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