The “Forever Faster” strapline will spearhead the effort when it launches in the second half of 2014. It follows today’s (12 December) appointment of JWT as Puma’s lead creative shop and will see future promotions tout the brand’s 65-year history of making product designs for the fastest athletes. It is likely 100m and 200m Olympic and World champion Usain Bolt will feature after the sprinter penned a new deal earlier this year.
Puma says the brand strategy will “define” a “fast-moving creative process poised” to capitalise on culturally relevant sporting moments through social media. It takes a leaf out of Nike’s book in focusing on the Puma brand’s role in conversations around global events it does not sponsor, such as next year’s World Cup.
The campaign will be the first in recent years to reconcile Puma’s sportswear and lifestyle divisions. The move echoes the brand’s admission to analysts last month that its previous approach of running the two divisions separately had confused customers and suppliers. Puma is hoping the strategic shift brings a more performance-based edge to its lifestyle products in an attempt to change perceptions of the brand. Chief executive Bjorn Gulden, who joined the business in April, said at the time Puma would return to being a sports company rather than fashion-led sports lifestyle business.
The company is hoping the strategy sparks life into its struggling footwear business which saw sales decline 7.1 per cent to €378m (£315m) in its third quarter. Puma made footwear a key priority this year through the launch of its Nature of Performance campaign and an online football hub but said the category continued to be difficult amid competition from new players such as Under Armour and Warrior Sports.