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Puma’s Shreya Sachdev on Anushka Sharma launch campaign, leveraging Virat-Anushka as power couple and more

Sachdev, head of marketing, PUMA Group talks about the campaign planning, leveraging Virat-Anushka and whether such marketing gimmicks backfire.

By  Saumya TewariDec 23, 2022 10:46 AM
Puma’s Shreya Sachdev on Anushka Sharma launch campaign, leveraging Virat-Anushka as power couple and more
Shrey Sachdev says, "While we officially on-boarded Anushka this week, the PUMA and Anushka partnership goes way back. Anushka loves PUMA and has worn it time and again over the years, and PUMA too has always resonated with what Anushka stands for. As the brand, PUMA built Propah Lady - a platform that celebrates fierce and unapologetic women. Anushka is the perfect embodiment of Propah Lady. She is known for charting her own path across spheres in life and without worrying about what the world thinks."

On Monday, actor Anushka Sharma called out Puma India on social media over using her picture wearing the brand's clothes. The 34-year old actor asked Puma to use her imagery only after onboarding her as a brand ambassador.

It seemed that there was a goof up by the brand's team until the next day Puma on-boarded Sharma and revealed that the social media banter was staged. The campaign elicited a variety of responses from consumers. Some found it interesting while others thought the fake posts and prank were too gimmicky.

Storyboard18 reached out to Shreya Sachdev, head of marketing, PUMA Group to understand how the campaign was planned and how they plan to leverage the power couple - Anushka Sharma and her husband Virat Kohli, who is also a Puma ambassador. We also ask her about the possibility of marketing gimmicks backfiring.

How did you decide on getting Anushka Sharma on board?

While we officially on-boarded Anushka this week, the PUMA and Anushka partnership goes way back. Anushka loves PUMA and has worn it time and again over the years, and PUMA too has always resonated with what Anushka stands for. As the brand, PUMA built Propah Lady - a platform that celebrates fierce and unapologetic women. Anushka is the perfect embodiment of Propah Lady. She is known for charting her own path across spheres in life and without worrying about what the world thinks. Given our long-standing relationship, and the multiple times that Anushka has been spotted in PUMA organically over the years - be it on her social media, post workout, airport or out and about town; we decided to use that as the starting point to officially announce our partnership.

Now that you have a power couple on board (Virat-Anushka), will you be leveraging them together?

While it is of course undeniable that Virat and Anushka create magic when they come together, both are powerhouses as individuals as well. So, while we may choose to work on campaigns and activations with them together, we will very much be leveraging what the two of them bring to the table through independent associations as well.

Do you think posting a negative comment from Anushka's account could have landed Puma in trouble as it could start a negative chatter?

Timing is always critical when it comes to campaigns such as these. We kept just a few hours of gap between Anushka's first story on social media and our follow-up post, at a point when the sentiment was focused on intrigue and confusion. As a result, our post was met with a barrage of positive comments appreciating the marketing genius of the campaign.

Do you think such marketing tricks can erode trust of consumers especially when a celebrity is involved?

Consumers today are well-versed with how marketing works in the digital age, and hence we have largely received positive feedback for our launch. That being said, a good campaign is always subject to some extent of polarizing and will inevitably start a conversation.

First Published on Dec 23, 2022 9:18 AM