A$AP Rocky’s new ad for the Puma Mostro is dripping with creepy, expressionistic style

The rapper bonds with an amorphous blob in the wonderfully dark spot, which he also directed

Published On
Feb 13, 2024
A$AP Rocky sitting in a chair with a clear kettle of black liquid boiling in the background

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Orson Welles meets Marvel’s Venom meets A$AP Rocky.

That’s the gist of Puma’s latest campaign, which stars the Harlem artist in a noir, Lynchian-feeling clip that blends different time periods through slick symmetry shots and an intriguing voiceover.

“Around the clock, nonstop. Time after time, just passing me by,” he says. On the stove, a mysterious liquid boils to the sound of a ticking clock. In the cinematic film, Rocky is struck by an idea. However, he does not let this idea stress him; instead, he sits back and turns on a vintage television.

The visuals displayed make him smile and somewhat distract him from the whistling kettle behind him.

 

When Rocky finally realizes what’s going on, the liquid has taken a viscous form and aggressively starts to attack the rapper. “The fuck was that?” he exclaims as the symbiote grows bigger and stronger.

The viewer sees the altercation through a cast of shadows, while a brass instrument buzzes with every move. As the symbiote battles to bond with Rocky and take hold of him, the rapper manages to drop it on the floor and, with his Mostro sneakers, squishes the blobby character.

The term “Mostro” translates to “monster” in Italian—and this specific creature appears to resonate strongly with rapper A$AP Rocky in Puma’s latest campaign. We can see a pair of Mostros with some alien drip coming down, and Puma’s creative director chilling in a new fit, staring at his shoes, which have absorbed this “newness” onto them.

Unlike Venom’s relationship with Eddie Brock or Peter Parker, the merger between Rocky and this “idea” he had brewing works in his favor. It conveys some of the steps needed to adapt to changes and transform into the ultimate version; in this case, that’s the new iteration of the Mostro shoe, originally launched in 1999. The reissue is a statement of how the shoe blurs the line between athleticism and fashion as it makes a comeback with Rocky at the helm.

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“The Puma Mostro is an iconic silhouette that Rocky immediately gravitated towards. The name and product design provided a unique creative starting place to concept around,” Allyssa Rapp, head of partnerships and entertainment at Puma, told Ad Age. “The teaser film was inspired by German expressionism and nostalgic horror films and playfully revealed the ‘exclusive for the runway’ Uni Mostro shoe, which is Puma’s first exploration in fully 3D printed footwear innovation.”

A$AP Rocky directed the nearly 70-second commercial, which was released on digital and social platforms shortly before the “Welcome to the Amazing Mostro Show,” a Puma-sponsored fashion event marking the start of New York Fashion Week on Feb. 8.

“Rocky took the distinctive spiked sole of the shoe and developed a story to bring it to life,“ said Rapp.

Last October, the rapper was named creative director of the Puma x F1 partnership, with a focus on the intersection of sport and streetwear.

A month later, to kick off the collaboration and promote their first pop-shop and capsule collection, Puma and Rocky debuted a 90-second promotional spot featured on the Las Vegas Sphere.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While the Mostro ad doesn’t depict the exact hues of the shoe, it debuted in a light grey and yellow colorway in January. On March 23, two new colorways will be released as part of the Ecstasy pack, showcasing vibrant pink and neon blue designs as part of the reissue.

The sports company worked on the Mostro spot alongside Los Angeles-based director Mowgly Lee and one of his local production companies in L.A.