Puma Shifts Creative to Droga5

Puma has hired Droga5 as its lead global creative partner, the athletic footwear company said today.

New work will break next year, with branding efforts and ads for specific products in the mix.

The company’s estimated global annual ad spending exceeds $100 million. Its U.S. media outlays have been $10-15 million per year, accoridng to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

There was no lead agency on the brand, which is based in Germany with U.S. headquarters in Westford, Mass. Puma ranks 7th among athletic footwear companies with about $440 million in annual sales; the category leader, Nike, tallied $4.1 billion in 2007, according to data compiled by Brandweek.

Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media handles buying chores. Publicis is also a backer of Droga5, which was launched in 2006 by Australian creative star David Droga.

Puma’s sales have been basically flat of late and the brand has had no consistent creative approach. The company now looks to Droga5 to strengthen its overall ad message.

Antonio Bertone, CMO at Puma, said Droga5 was selected based on its penchant for crafting unconventional integrated advertising.

Droga said: “Puma is one of the most distinct and beloved brands of all time. They’ve always been a personal favorite of mine, and the chance to work with such an iconic label is a privilege.”

Droga5 is best known for its HoneyShed online shopping initiative. It also creates ads for MTV and Method, among others.