Puma has done the thing of having a celebrity be the creative director for the brand. Here, Rihanna has Cara Delevingne posing with an actual baby puma.
I’m glad Rihanna has a day job, because if she were an ordinary creative person at a real agency, her idea would never have made it past the actual creative director.
The idea would have been called lazy, obvious and first-level thinking. It would also have been called corny and done to death by anyone who could recall the ads done for the Mercury Cougar in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
I spent my whole childhood feeling sorry for all the poor cougars in those ads. And I feel bad for that puma right now.
For better or worse, creative directors like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are delivering some humbling news about how much our industry has changed. Today, what we call an idea in advertising isn’t necessarily contained in the ad itself; today, the “idea,” or the most interesting thing about the ad, might well be the context in which it was created. And, of course, the context here includes Rihanna’s involvement. Long story short, in the new Puma campaign, Rihanna is the idea.