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01/16/2009 Puma Combines Fun with Business


I’m a total sucker for mashups where you upload your picture and do something silly with it. I’ve written about this before but I have a ton of fun doing this. And I’m not the only one, apparently, if you look at the success of sites like Elf Yourself and In The Doghouse.

One of the challenges with all of these is that while they may be a blast, drive engagement and get people to spend lots of time on these sites, the business benefits aren’t so clear. There were articles a while ago describing how Elf Yourself didn’t provide any business boost to Office Max (yes, Office Max is the company behind the famous elfs, although it was easy to miss).

The question with all of these is: Is it relevant to your brand and market? Yes, awareness is important but if it’s easy to forget your brand and what you offer then engagement will only get you so far. In The Doghouse was fun but the connection between Doghouse, Penny’s and diamonds was tenuous at best.

Along comes Puma with its “I Am 60” collection, highlighting its fashion over time and inviting people to go retro. They also have a mashup; you can upload your photo, change hairstyles, clothing styles and more. Here’s what I might’ve looked like in a previous age (better, worse, what do you think?). So far, pretty fun, but the kicker is about to show up in my inbox.

 12367883-eaaa-44e3-a4d6-341e64bd59a6_mashed

Once I’m done, Puma sends me my picture in a promotional e-mail and then encourages me to shop different styles/eras. They’ve firmly connected my fun engagement with what I’m really supposed to do: buy Puma gear. Hey, there are the sneakers I wore in my junior year in high school!

Seeing myself together with products in this space ties together business and fun in the best way I’ve seen for a while. Great job Puma and whatever agency was behind that. I hope we see more fun, relevance and business in this down year.

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