Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: Athletics, Branding, Culture, Media Arts, Viral, Web/Digital
For Puma, Love equals Football. They make this amply clear throughout their recent campaign, replacing a hand-drawn football for the word “love” all over their site. Football (soccer–I’ll say it once, then not again) is about passion, loyalty—an enduring affair. In a banner on the relentlessly upbeat site, the football icon completes the sentence: the power of love, or the power of football? They both work, because to Puma, they are one. I couldn’t possibly care less about the sport, but even just going to their website is inspiring, uplifting. Nice one, Puma! It’s refreshing that it’s not about the brand, really—it’s about the sport. It’s not “Puma is for those who love football”—it’s “Love football; that’s enough for us.”
My very favorite element of this campaign, however, the one I honestly cannot get enough of, is the HardChorus. A microsite for the HardChorus declares “They want to be in your arms. You want to be in the stands,” challenging the true superfan with the unthinkable: “What do you do when Valentine’s Day falls on match day?” What indeed? Well, for starters, you can let the HardChorus say what you can’t.
An almost cartoonish assemblage of hardmen and everymen—balding, pudgy, snaggletoothed, cauliflower-eared, all—motley hooligans of the Vinnie Jones variety, the HardChorus belt out their love with the fervor of a pubscreaming sports anthem. In a charmingly awkward display of machismo-wrapped sincerity, the men holler out a surprisingly tuneful “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden, while for Italian-speakers, a separate Italian chorus sings Umberto Tozzi’s oldies hit “Ti Amo.” Urging you to “dedicate a song to someone you love as much as football,” the site allows viewers to send the HardChorus performance to their disgruntled beloved by email or Facebook.
I don’t want to get carried away here, but I just love the whole thing to pieces. It’s hilarious, it’s adorable, it’s inspired. And it gets to the heart of a very real feeling, somehow managing to capture and articulate that which so often eludes authentic, unvarnished portrayal: the experience of loving the game, of loving sport—the thrills, the anguish, the camaraderie, the sacrifice—all of it.
And in Italian…
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