Cannes Lions

Puma Suede

J. WALTER THOMPSON, New York / PUMA / 2016

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In order to demonstrate that the Suede is a cultural icon we needed an idea that would make a statement and capture attention immediately. Our idea was to take people on a journey through time where the only single constant was the PUMA Suede. A shoe with such contemporary design that it was both ever present yet constantly evolving at the feet of its wearers.

1960s- Tommie Smith protesting against discrimination at the 1968 Olympics

1970’s- Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s basketball career

1980s- B-boy culture

1990s- Alternative grunge

2000s- Skateboarding

2010s- Athletic wear as a lifestyle

The Future

The idea was to create a timeline, featuring each of these iconic moments in a different art piece in a style from its decade.

As a visual, you’d be able to see it’s influence from beginning to the end. The end being a blank canvas and jumping off point for the future.


We chose seven iconic moments in history and culture, from 1968 to today. We worked with seven artists, who were each assigned with a specific moment. Working on a canvas size of 24x36 inches, each artist worked in iconic styles relevant to their assigned decade.

For example, the American graphic designer, David Carson, created the 1990s piece, a style done in the "grunge typography" that he defined in that era.

The mediums ranged, varying in material and elements. Some included screen-printing on plywood, while others involved graffiti paint on canvas.

The pieces were structured into a timeline. At the end of our timeline is the “Future," represented in a white Puma Suede shoe on a white canvas to show that the future of the shoe is yet to be defined. It’s an invitation to create the next big moment.


In the absence of actual results, we'd look for an increase in sales of the Suede product, in addition to increased awareness that drives mentions and conversations about the product in social.

The cultural impact we'd like to make is to create renewed buzz around the Suede range as it's the staple and classic of PUMA's product offerings.

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