The Brief

To drive relevance amongst football obsessed teens, PUMA needed to evolve its retail experience. Its core football consumers are digital natives, living in a culture where football and gaming coexist and there’s no conscious split between the analogue and digital world, however the brand’s retail space hadn’t evolved to acknowledge them.

With the PUMA brand aligning more with the gaming industry in 2019, the opportunity to start elevating the in-store experience to ensure relevance and resonance with customer was now.

Football culture is so much more than 90 minutes

To fully understand the emotional mindset of an FOT we took ourselves pitch-side. Instrumental in informing the creative brief we set about discovering what drives them to wear what product, what’s important to them (both on and off the pitch and what they think of players wearing certain products.

We already knew that FOTs pay real attention to pros and what they wear – this pro-player affinity often validating their own boot choices – we also established that the feel of the boot was much more important to them than the aesthetics (although looking ‘sic!’ remained distinctly preferable). In turning the conversation towards the impact gaming had on this audience, it became clear that as important as product was to them, the route to purchase felt disconnected and incongruent to the rest of their footballing lives. This first-hand, human insight compounded our decision to take the emotional aspects of gaming and map them against customer experience principles.

Quickly dismissing ‘halfway house’ solutions such as integrated digital display screens, or integrating gaming consoles within the boot wall to achieve cut through, we chose to tap into real motivations, emotional impulses and physical aspirations to drive engagement and immersive experiences.

Our Approach

Before deciding what hardware was correct and letting that lead our experience and content ideas, we broadened our thinking; examining what was right for this audience and then how best to deliver it in-store. Crafting creative territories and an in-store experience idea for each – all rooted in football and gaming culture – we considered options that were not only feasible in a limited store space, but importantly, could be scaled for larger format execution.

Our ultimate end-game was to replicate digital game-play through human trial, bringing stats to life to help guide purchase, and elevate product and people engagement.

Gamifying the product

Supporting PUMA’s ‘PUMA FUTURE’ and ‘PUMA ONE’ range – as worn by PUMA athletes including Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku – the installation features a unique combination of recognition technology, projection and gaming to provide an immersive experience aimed at increasing in-store trial, brand recall and product consideration.

The boot-room installation is made up of 3 distinct moments; each with an individual role to play and designed to create an in-store experience that’s rooted in football and gaming culture, a hangout space in which they’d return to time and time again, and remains relevant in today’s digitally native landscape.

Moment 01: When either the PUMA ONE or PUMA FUTURE is removed from the interactive boot wall, pressure sensors recognise the item and displays interactive, product-specific content, also athlete stories, availability and a trial request.

Moment 02: During the fitting phase digitally displayed player stats merge online content and the physical space to bring the customer ever closer to PUMA’s inspiring, football brand ambassadors. On trying the boots for size, customers can place their feet on projected footprints where colour recognition technology identifies the item and projectors further information – including ambassador stats – on the floor space below. Finally, the wearer receives an invitation to test the boots live in the store.

Moment 03: Recognising the importance of product fit and feel, the trial phase encourages customers to put the boots through their paces, before they buy. An agility test, projects a random sequence of targets on the floor that must be reached within 5 seconds, the longer the player stays in the game, the faster they will need to react and the more points they’ll score.  A live leader board, recording trial data displays locally ranked scores, encouraging peer-to-peer competition and highly shareable moments throughout the entire experience.

The Results
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We wanted to bring a deeper engagement with our football products, showcasing their unique benefits. Employing a range of digital experience moments in store, going beyond the usual screens displaying information, to create something different and immersive.

Jason Isenberg, Head of Commercial Marketing, PUMA

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