PUMA announced it’s ‘clever little bag’ recently. It’s clever and absolutely brilliant. That was my opinion when I saw the video they have created to announce this.

Except for the jaded background music, the video communicated the main point brilliantly well. My takeaway, personally, were,

  • There’s a new shoe bag from PUMA
  • It looks great!
  • It has been specifically created by a designer-dude to save paper, electricity, water and oil.
  • Other brands waste resources in packing, PUMA doesn’t – so they’re a bit more eco-conscious
  • I should give PUMA a chance since they’re giving our planet a chance
  • I sure will!

PUMA also had a press release to mark this announcement. And, it went straight above even my primarily-PR head.

No, I’m in a PR agency too and we are sometimes forced to create such releases too, so we’re equally guilty of such language – so, I’m not throwing a stone at PUMA.

But, let me try to at least understand why this is the case.

The video was aimed at consumer users, I suppose. It’s communication about the new packaging and its benefit was straight to the point. The visuals added value too, obviously.

But, who is the press release aimed at? Some options:

  1. Media/journalists? Aren’t journalists consumers too? Why should they be fed with jargons and verbose text? Aren’t they ultimately expected to ‘translate’ this release and communicate the same to consumer users?
  2. B2B audiences? Do B2B audiences demand such language? Why and at what level? To make decisions of some kind and across the CXO level?
  3. PUMA’s partners/vendors? Aren’t they ultimately catering to consumer users? And perhaps need a slightly easier communication so they are able to communicate equally well to their/PUMA’s customers?
  4. Environmentalists/eco-warriors? Again, do they need such language?

The other part is the package that PUMA puts the ‘clever little bag’ into context. This, as fellow blogger Anita Lobo puts it, makes the release communication deviate from the main story and ‘make it a tad boring’. I agree – the overall packaging of the new package (!) seems slightly forced and confuses the target audience for the release.

Shouldn’t PUMA consider what would read better and make news than just adding all eco-relevant messages they have in one single press release? Some of the eco-jargons could make sense and interest small, specific people segments, while the ‘hey-we’ve-a-smart-new-shoebag’ part is the one that is most likely to resonate with people (in general) the most. So, why not communicate that part really well in a crisp release and use other, direct communication methods to share the rest with niche target groups?

Just wondering aloud!

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