Who #RunTheStreets?  PUMA!

Puma #RunTheStreets campaign

PUMA’s We #RunTheStreets campaign kicked off six years ago, says Catherine Shanley from international digital agency LOOP. She has been leading the PUMA account team through various activations and campaigns; from working on local digital activations developed around world famous Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, to working on global PUMA projects such as PUMATRAC, PUMA Football and many more.

“We knew that the #RunTheStreets campaign would be absolutely essential in helping define the brand image for PUMA moving forward. For us, it was all about taking this brand message and customising it in a way that made sense and was relatable for South Africans, and makes the brand more relevant to their lifestyle. Through using great local influencers, we collaborated with PUMA South Africa to bring life to #RunTheStreets with Cape Town as a focal point,” informs Shanley.

The local campaign came to life as a collaborative effort between LOOP, an Austria-based agency, and PUMA South Africa’s creative agency, 99c. For production duties, the pair enlisted the assistance of 0307 Films and director Paul Ward.

“99c took the brief and jumped on the opportunity to create something bold, unique and unmistakably South African,” says 99c account director, Hettie Swart.

“The brief itself was relatively straightforward: PUMA SA wants to show South Africa that they #RunTheStreets here – just as much as the guys on the international scene – how do we do that?”

Swart’s team handpicked artists who they felt are making a name for themselves on the streets of South Africa. “We wanted people who own the streets, who run the streets, and that’s who we got,” Swart enthuses.

The story concept is about seeing these artists in their environments, looking at the streets where they grew up and how that inspired their creativity – the streets that they have become an iconic representation of, and now run.

The first commercial promotes the IGNITE Limitless and IGNITE evoKNIT sneakers and features local influencers Gigi, Nasty C, and Mashaya as well as PUMA ambassador Rolo Rozay. The voice over in the commercial is by Tumi aka Stogie T, while the music is by Sibot.

PUMA’S more recent campaign decided to bring in a global element, with South African talents working with Middle Eastern artists in a cross-cultural collaboration.

“When it came to working on #RunTheStreets, we wanted to make sure PUMA’s global identity was evident. We tried to bring out a cross-cultural relevance in all content, to go beyond just creating influencer content. For the Middle East and South Africa, we focused on music as the street culture highlight. We worked with influencers that are relevant in their local music scenes and had them collaborate on a track together,” Shanley shares.

The Middle East influencers were flown to Cape Town and had an insightful journey as they experienced learning about South African street culture and music.

LOOP handled the production and post-production duties on this campaign which included scouting locations for the shoot.

Shanley expands: “We wanted to find different areas in the city, places that were relevant to the influencers, places that were not the normal touristy versions of South Africa that are shown on postcards but real and authentic locations where the influencers wanted to go. We were very spontaneous during shooting, in an almost documentary style approach.”

The campaign was shot over two days using the RED Weapon and the RED Scarlet-Weapon cameras. “We wanted rough, raw and authentic style behind the videos, but to ensure the best quality and a feeling of a cinematic documentary, we shot on RED cinema cameras,” she says.

There is a clear look and feel that drives all #RunTheStreets content, explains Shanley. While street culture is the emphasis in the campaign, locations have to feel ‘real’ visually.

This commercial marks the third time that the LOOP crew has worked on and facilitated collaborations between different countries. Previous international collaborations include the Moscow and Istanbul joint campaign, as well as the Mumbai, Delhi and Poland collaboration.

“As this was the third advert where we worked on a collaboration between crews from two different cultural backgrounds and cities we had some experience on ensuring that the crews gelled well,” shares Shanley.

“The collaboration started before the shoot between the two crews and we looked for similar interests to decide upon the music track collaboration. All of our influencers worked really well together, and really wanted to share their culture and inspiration with each other. Nothing was posed, or faked; we wanted to shoot real moments between people from different cultures sharing one common passion.”

Costumes for the artists were provided by PUMA, with styling done by Waterkant Studios, South Africa.

“In addition to the influencers, the real star of the piece is Cape Town itself. In a way, we did our best to feature it as an additional character in the story, rather than just a shoot location. It is all about alternative culture and taking inspiration from your environment. We hope that element will speak to the South African audience in a unique way,” Shanley concludes.



  • Camera: RED Weapon and RED Scarlet-Weapon cameras

“We wanted rough, raw and authentic style behind the videos, but to ensure the best quality and a feeling of a cinematic documentary, we shot on RED cinema cameras.” –  Catherine Shanley


Directors: Abigail Green and Paul Ward

Producer: Catherine Shanley

DOPs: Justinas Miliauskas and Philip Eder

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Gezzy S Sibisi
Gezzy S. Sibisi is a senior journalist at Screen Africa. She is experienced in print, broadcast and digital media. Her portfolio of work includes working as a lifestyle reporter as well as contributing business and education articles to The Times, Sowetan, and Daily Dispatch publications. As a freelancer, she has worked on content development for corporate newsletters, community newspapers, blogs and educational websites.


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