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Puma - "Forever Faster" Director's Cut

Supply & Demand director Gerard de Thame has wrapped the director’s cut of “Forever Faster” for Puma, work that continues to separate the brand from the sporting pack with an open invitation to join its rebellious cause.

“One of the main things Puma wanted to get across was a different message than the likes of Nike and Adidas whose athletes often tow the line and take themselves far too seriously,” say de Thame on Puma’s new branding platform. “Puma’s whole approach is: ‘we are different, we are individuals’ in work that is told in a very unique way.”

“Forever Faster” sidesteps convention by striking a rebellious pose using the world’s fastest man – all to prove that when you set the pace, you’re the one to chase. Rather than mimic serious-minded pleas we are introduced to the wise cracking persona of Usain Bolt, who instead revels in impatience, hostility and a bevy of impossible odds.

De Thame’s director’s cut sees a more rhythmic spot than the agency’s earlier version, focusing on the world’s fastest man as he speaks of Puma’s primal call. “It was a great collaboration between Gerard and the agency,” explains Tim Case, Supply & Demand’s Founder / Managing Partner. “Matt Anderson and Jeff Benjamin were fantastic, it was fun to be around and watch them develop this with Gerard. Usain Bolt turned out to be a terrific guy.”

The campaign was a competitive pitch, the commercial forming after different machinations of the original idea. “At one point we almost went with Usain hopping fences and jumping into people’s swimming pools,” de Thame reveals. “That was quite interesting, but the idea was eventually dropped.”

A desire to reference branding from the 70s was also examined before production, a move recalling one of Puma’s greatest marketing moments when Pele wore their black and gold Puma King boots, specially-crafted for Pele during the 1970 World Cup. In a beautiful piece of marketing excellence, Pele effortlessly pushed the brand by asking the referee to stop a game moments before the final whistle – just to tie up his Puma laces as everyone watched enthralled.

Shooting on location in Italy with Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Avatar, Training Day, Smokin’ Aces), de Thame shot most of the football footage on green screen. Additional material was also garnered with supporters at real football games:

“Mauro’s work is phenomenal and we had complicated lighting and green screen work to achieve,” explains de Thame. “As always we were limited to the time the athletes gave us, but that served to keep us on our toes. We managed to capture everything we needed while Usain was a pleasure to work with. He has the perfect persona to encourage the use of rebellion and defy social norms, is such an interesting guy, and definitely breaking barriers like Puma.”

Asked why he finds himself in the US more often than Europe of late, de Thame responds that creativity and budgets are simply more attractive here. “The American market is more vibrant,” he explains. “There’s more going on, the reverse of how it used to be with better creative in England and money to go with it.”

De Thame wraps up by mentioning that post on the spot was also productive, giving props to both The Mill and Final Cut on the look of the final product – The Mill creating full CG stadiums with crowd differentiation between various football players on the pitch, while matte painters also created various custom landscapes.

“The agency really let us get on with it,” says de Thame on wrapping the work. “I supervised both the edit and the post effects. Joe Guest over at Final Cut did an amazing job, flying in from London to give us the right flow.”

Creative Credits:  
Agency: JWT, New York
Executive Producer: Matt Anderson
Creative Director: Dan Morales, Amy Morales
Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Benjamin

Production Company: Supply & Demand Integrated
Executive Producer: Tim Case
Executive Producer: Charles Salice
Executive Producer: Jeff Scruton
Senior Head of Production: Rika Osenberg
Director: Gerard De Thame
Producer: Fabyan Daw
Director of Photography: Mauro Fiore

Editing Company: Final Cut NY
Editor: Joe Guest

Post: The Mill, NY
Exec Producer: Melanie Wickham
Producer: Veronica Ware
Shoot Supervisor: Andrew “Barnsley” Wood
2D Lead Artists: Westley Sarokin
3D Lead Artists: Wyatt Savarese
Colourist: Mick Vincent

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