Case Study

How Puma Shot itself in the AED690 Trainer

International sportswear giant Puma believed it found a new marketing opportunity in the United Arab Emerates.  In celebration of the UAE’s 40th National Day, they created sneakers, marketed as AED690 Trainers, in the colors of the UAE’s flag.

Unfortunately for Puma, their strategy was not only unsuccessful but greatly offended their target customer base.  The truly sad part of the debacle is that the most basic awareness of Middle Eastern strong negative associations with feet would have prevented the idea altogether.  

Puma eventually pulled the shoe from all stores and apologized to the citizens of the United Arab Emerates.