In early 2017, Puma launched a loyalty program to recruit and reward their next generation of Puma soccer players. To mark the launch of the program, and to welcome their newest members, Puma and experience agency, Cramer, reimagined what shoe packaging could be.
“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to create exclusive packaging for our first PumaPitch members, but we also wanted to do something totally unexpected – something young athletes would talk about, and remember,” said Kellie Ambrose, marketing manager at Puma. “Through our partnership with Cramer, we invented an exclusive packaging that doubled as an exclusive brand experience.”
The first recruited PumaPitch program members were told their new soccer boots would be arriving in an exclusive package. They expected a high-end cardboard box, which is common in the industry. Instead, members received a sleek, black and polypropylene case. There was one critical catch: It was padlocked. Each case was imprinted with an anthem that celebrated Puma’s and the player’s commitment to work harder, play harder and to demand more from themselves, their gear and the game. Within that anthem, a hidden code was placed to unlock the case and grant access to the new boots and a PumaPitch membership.
Players read and re-read the anthem, collaborating with their teammates to unlock the cases, in an engaging, fun, memorable and highly sharable team experience.
“Our partnership with Puma has been amazing,” added Pat Martin, Account Director and Partner at Cramer. “When they approached us with the idea, it struck us as the kind of opportunity a lot of brands would overlook. Most so-called exclusive packaging is just more expensive materials, technology for the sake of technology, whatever. Puma wanted something smarter, more relevant, more effective, and more closely aligned with the innovative essence of their brand: Forever Faster.”
“It was a great story of creativity, strategy, and authenticity cutting through the clutter in a meaningful and effective way,” Ambrose continued. “And the fact that the case was something the players would keep for themselves aligned with Puma’s commitment to sustainability. All in all, it led to an amazing brand experience, as well as social shares, earned media and a strong introduction for the PumaPitch loyalty program.”