PUMA is currently receiving heavy backslash on social media after releasing an advertisement in which French rapper, MHD (real name, Mohamed Sylla) rocks the brands latest design for Cameroon’s National Football team – the Indomitable Lions.
The latest kit was launched by football legend Roger Milla and French/Guinean/Senegalese afro-trap artist MHD to celebrate Cameroon’s 20-year association with PUMA. The new kit features a modern interpretation of Cameroon’s roaring lion crest on the front of the T-shirt while the country’s flag is represented on the shirt’s collar.
The ad has however being met with widespread condemnation, with critics, especially famous Cameroonian musicians, accusing the popular sports brand of disrespecting the national honor as well as the entertainment industry in Cameroon.
“I do not accept that f**king advert with MHD because he sang about [Roger] Milla? Now, he is Cameroonian?” rapper Jovi asked in a tweet on Monday, November 6. Followed by, “F**k PUMA! That’s not a Cameroonian brand so THEY don’t care about your a**, they wanna sell their (OUR) Jerseys.”
His angry tweets went far and wide because the next day, his former label mate, Magasco, brought the topic to his Facebook wall.
“A national team represents a country. Artists, buyam sellams, civil servants etc… pay taxes nationally to endorse the team. These people cry and celebrate with the team. Now for example, if Puma be use some Mammi weh di burn planti for streets with the New Jersey with lions behind her, the billboard no for SELL? When I get an answer to this question then good. Is fine I like it,” Magasco wrote on November 7.
“I can go on and on on this with more points. When Cameroon will be playing against the so called PUMA ambassador’s country (MHD is originally from Guinea and Senegal) I hope he will be in the field to endorse the jersey and the [Cameroonian] team,” the ‘Wule Bang Bang’ crooner added.
Jovi and Magasco are not the only ones condemning PUMA’s new ad campaign to promote their latest sports designs. Ghanaians are also calling the campaign a complete sham.
Despite the outcry, some Cameroonians think PUMA is only out to make money and its a marketting strategy any business company would seek for. Popular blogger, Mbole Ekaney of TheHotJem.com claims its all about business an Cameroonians should stop taking it too personal.
“When you get into Marketing for these big organisations you will understand why they chose MHD. It’s sad to say but Cameroonians don’t have that international appeal yet and as a Marketing exec once told me, it’s nothing personal… just all about the money!”
“I truly wonder why people think Puma should care about how Cameroonians feel. All that matters the most is ‘Money in the Bank’. This is common sense. Business = Sales = Money in the bank. That’s all that should matter in business. No discussion needed when business is involved, Cameroonian artist should just understand that MHD has millions of views, I mean 42 millions views already . Who wouldn’t make such a decision? Our artists are getting there but it’s still a slow process. Till that day comes, We just have to keep supporting our local artists. This deal was made for the big boys with millions of views,” former model and businesswoman, Laura Jean Mankaa added her voice.
Now, Dcoders, what do you think? If Franco has close to 60 million views for a song which went viral across Africa and we also have other artists like Stanley Enow who has worked on international campaigns with Guinness, BICEC and MTV Base Network before , why would PUMA honor the Cameroon National Football team with a French rapper’s face?
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