New Delhi: Sportswear brand Puma has rolled out a new digital campaign featuring Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli targeting millennials who prefer spending time on social media, video games and binge-watching on streaming platforms over sports. The ad,which promotes Puma’s co-created line ‘One8’ launched in November last year, highlights the importance of leading an active lifestyle.

Made by advertising agency DDB Mudra Group, the campaign ‘Come out and play’is a series of 15-second videos highlighting the simple joys of playing sports and taking a break from mobile phones and gadgets.

“Puma and Virat (Kohli) have come together to encourage people to play sport, not only to stay fit or to pursue it professionally but just for the love of it," said Debosmita Majumder, head of marketing, Puma India. “Through this campaign, we are looking at bringing back the joy of playing sport and making India a more active nation," she added.

According to a consumer research study commissioned by Puma India, 57% of India’s youth has not played a single sport in the last one year. Only 26% of the people between the age group of 26 and 30 years play sports. 58% of the respondents said lack of time was the reason for not playing sports while the same set of people spent about four to five hours watching television, chatting with friends on mobile phones and browsing the internet.

The messaging has been customised to target people on platforms they most frequently visit such as InMobi, Hotstar, Voot, and Sony Liv.

“The brief was straightforward—make India play more. The campaign was created to specifically tackle that. We wanted to use Virat in a new light where he provokes the audience to start looking at sports and play with far greater interest," said Vishnu Srivastav, creative head, DDB Mudra South.

Apart from OTT platforms, the campaign is also being promoted across social media and digital platforms. Kohli, who came on board with Puma in February last year, has already appeared in the brand’s campaign for running

According to Samir Datar, senior vice president, planning at advertising agency Hakuhodo India, the campaign could work as a push towards action because Kohli is the perfect example of fitness in the country. “At a subliminal level (I don’t know if that was the plan), for the people who are hooked to the screen constantly, it surely is a wakeup call to keep that screen away," said Datar. The campaign is edgy and it interrupts the virtual lives of the youth and helps them realise there is a world of sports outside their smartphones which is fun and exciting.

“A lot of people in the age bracket of 18 to 25 years are definitely not watching the television programming instead they are on over-the-top (OTT) streaming services and digital platforms. So, it’s a perfect platform to connect with them," added Datar.

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