Brand Brings Sexy Back

The sports­wear brand re­leases ‘Suede Gully’.

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL / CONTENTS - By Su­nit Roy and Ash­wini Gan­gal feed­

Dip­ping into In­dia’s ‘gully cul­ture’ for in­spi­ra­tion, sports­wear brand Puma (In­dia) has cre­ated a three-and-ahalf-minute-long mu­sic video ti­tled ‘Suede Gully’. As the name sug­gests, it pro­motes a range of footwear from Puma, called Suede.

Be­ing pro­moted as a ‘multi-lin­gual street col­lab­o­ra­tion’, the video fea­tures eight rap­pers, seven street artists and 36 hip-hop dancers from Mum­bai, Delhi, Shil­long, and Madu­rai, where the film was shot over eight days. In the film, we see glimpses of a graf­fiti­cov­ered lo­cal train in Mum­bai, a sprayed stair­case in Shil­long, as well as ‘street shots’ from Madu­rai and Delhi. DDB Mu­dra Bengaluru has worked on this cam­paign.

The an­them, com­posed by Sneha Khan­walkar and di­rected by Sasha Rain­bow, is in four lan­guages — Hindi, Tamil, Pun­jabi, and Khasi.

The Mukti Mo­han-led dance crews fea­ture Bengaluru-based Black Ice Crew, Shil­long’s Unity One, Mum­bai’s Beast Mode and Delhi’s Higher Vi­sion crews.

Street artists Shilo Shiv Sule­man, Baadal Nan­jun­daswamy, In­dian Artists crew, and Anpu Varkey are also part of this cam­paign. Rap­pers in­clude Bom­bay’s Di­vine, Delhi’s Prab­hdeep, Shil­long’s rap crew Khasi Bloodz, and Madu­rai’s Madu­rai Souljour.

Vishnu Sri­vat­sav, creative head, DDB Mu­dra South, tells afaqs! Re­porter, “In­dia has a strong street cul­ture which has evolved over the years. Yet, it has man­aged to re­tain its raw­ness. Our streets com­mu­ni­cate opin­ions. Over time, these streets have grown to be­come a mode of self-ex­pres­sion for many.”

He adds about the birth of the idea, “We recog­nised this re­silient un­der­ground street cul­ture bub­bling un­der the sur­face and de­cided to amp it up and bring it to light. The sto­ries from In­dian streets are di­verse in na­ture and au­then­tic. Their strug­gle is real. To at­tempt show­cas­ing these In­dian streets in just one lan­guage is a sheer in­jus­tice. Hence, we opted for a mul­ti­lin­gual ap­proach.”

Sasha Rain­bow, direc­tor of the ad, tells afaqs! Re­porter, “I wanted to por­tray the con­nec­tion be­tween the tra­di­tional as­pects of our cities and their her­itage, with the mod­ern as­pects of the fu­ture and counter street cul­ture. I wanted to show how the past and the fu­ture can sit har­mo­niously to­gether to great ef­fect.”

Ac­cord­ing to Debosmita Ma­jumder, head of mar­ket­ing, Puma (In­dia), this ad film is a lit­tle larger than ful­fill­ing sales ob­jec­tive be­cause the back­bone of this cam­paign is a move­ment of the big­gest kind of street cul­ture. “When you make a brand cam­paign you can­not be sure that it will have a sales im­pact. But what you re­ally want is that the brand gets recog­nised, so that one can as­so­ci­ate cer­tain at­tributes with it. That’s re­ally the en­deav­our and even­tu­ally, we do hope sales im­prove,” Ma­jumder says.

Puma has al­ways looked at 16-25 as its core TG and the brand will con­tinue to do so. That’s the rea­son the cam­paign has been launched on dig­i­tal plat­forms such as YouTube, Face­book and In­sta­gram along with ra­dio. “For us, dig­i­tal is the key medium of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­cause young­sters are hardly watch­ing TV and they are watch­ing the con­tent of their choice on dig­i­tal and so­cial plat­forms. Also, to let the tune reach a lot a peo­ple, ra­dio be­comes a very rel­e­vant medium,” ex­plains Ma­jumder.


Puma is not as pro­lific an ad­ver­tiser as some of its ri­val brands. And any mes­sag­ing on the part of the brand needs to be mem­o­rable. So, afaqs! Re­porter asked the ex­perts, ‘will this piece of com­mu­ni­ca­tion see it through for a few weeks... months, per­haps?’

Bikram Bin­dra, vice-pres­i­dent and strategic plan­ning head, GREY group Delhi, finds the cam­paign to be ex­plo­sive, en­er­getic and visu­ally stun­ning. Ac­cord­ing to him, this piece of work is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of the chang­ing or­der of the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try — this isn’t a cam­paign or an ad.

“This is a piece of con­tent, cre­ated on the back of un­peel­ing sub­cul­tures and mar­ry­ing that with a dis­tinct brand point of view and then bring­ing it alive through rich and var­ied col­lab­o­ra­tions. This is the kind of work that should out­live typ­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­tigue,” he says.

Agree­ing with Bin­dra, Kailash Suren­dranath, ad film-maker and founder of Kailash Pic­ture Com­pany, a film pro­duc­tion com­pany, says that de­spite be­ing a bit long, it’s very watch­able, right till the very end.

“It is ‘Mile sur mera-tumhara...’ for the hip-hop gen­er­a­tion be­cause it has cov­ered dif­fer­ent In­dian lan­guages — Hindi, Tamil, Pun­jabi, and Khasi. This ad is bril­liant be­cause it has cov­ered what young peo­ple lis­ten to. It doesn’t mat­ter whether you un­der­stand the lyrics or not, but if you like the song, video and the ac­tion in it, then that’s enough. The best part of the film is that it is very ‘desi’. It’s a film that presents Puma (In­dia) and it does the job very well,” says Suren­dranath.

The video fea­tures rap­pers, street artists and hip-hop dancers from Mum­bai, Delhi, Shil­long & Madu­rai.

“When you make a brand cam­paign you can­not be sure that it will have a sales im­pact. But what you re­ally want is that the brand gets recog­nised, so that one can as­so­ci­ate cer­tain at­tributes with it.” DEBOSMITA MA­JUMDER

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