Puma Channels Stranger Things for This Surreal Soccer Spot

Man City manager Pep Guardiola steals it

When Pep Guardiola says Puma's latest soccer cleats are "genius," you better damn well believe it.

The Spanish manager of English club Manchester City steals the athletic footwear giant's latest brand film, which was devised by Paris agency Lafourmi and Partizan director Sharif Abdel Mawla, and cheekily channels a Stranger Things vibe. 

Megastars Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suárez, Sergio Aguero and Marco Reus appear, along with a cowered and literally hot-footed boom-mike operator during an ominous sequence with Guardiola that breaks the fourth wall. Throughout, the latter's intense narration and intimidating presence are kicks unto themselves.

Be the Spark | PUMA Football

The digital campaign will be shared through the players' social networks and Puma's online feeds. It backs the new Spark Pack, featuring the athletic footwear maker's Future 5.1 and Puma One 20.1 boots with striking ultra-yellow details designed to resemble electric sparks.

Lafourmi and Puma teamed up for last summer's notable "Find Your Flow" campaign, which fused music and sports. That push packed more bells and whistles, but "Be the Spark" scores by winking at its audience and bringing us along for a surreal, star-studded mishmash punctuated by flickering video screens, '80s synthesizer stylings and animated lightning bolts.

"We designed this film in order to get football, fun and playful entertainment in a suspenseful, lighthearted trip," says Marvyn Lépine, Puma account director at Lafourmi. "We wanted to build curiosity in a way we had never done before. A kind of Stranger Things meeting Puma Football. Mixing football and cultural references are key and relevant for our audience."

Once again, the brand shoots for "15- to 25-year-old urban boys and girls who breath football every single day, on and off the pitch, and who only have eyes for their favorite players and European clubs," Lépine says.

As for Guardiola's performance, "we had less than two hours with him to shoot everything," Lépine recalls. "Fortunately, he did it very well. He naturally and perfectly played his 'football scientist' role—obviously not by chance!"

CREDITS

Director: Sharif Abdel Mawla
Production: Partizan
Director of Photography: Daan Bukman
Camera B: Andy Collet, Leif Thomas
Executive Producer: Khalid Tahhar
Line producer: Karine Takooree
Production service:: Falca
Post-Production: Royal Post
Post-Production Engineer: Jonathan Trebois
VFX Supervisor: Julien Laudicina
Editors: Manuel Coutant
Calibration: Arthur Paux
Sound Design & Mixing: Martin Dillais
Music: Niels den Otter - Audentity
TV Production Manager: Barbara Vaira

Agency Managers: Marvyn Lépine, Louis Pierre-Adolphe
Advertising Managers: Abigail Rogers, Clément Lacour

Designed and written by: Xavier Yonter, François Bévierre
Strategic Planning: Jordane Rabute
Artistic Director: SevenOneThree
Creative Content Producers: Matthieu Vidal, Robin Manigot
Lead Motion Designer: Khammy Vilaysing
Music: Mr Viktor
Photographer: SevenOneThree
Video: Hadrien Picard
Creative Director: Julien Hablainville
Project Directors: Marvyn Lépine, Louis Pierre-Adolphe
Agency Director: Thibaut Cornet
Advertising Managers: Abigail Rogers, Clément Lacour

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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