Lacoste boosts brand image in Asia with ‘Play Big’ campaign

Translated by

Nicola Mira

Published



Apr 29, 2024

Lacoste’s latest advertising campaign, entitled ‘Play Big’, features Korean pop star and top model Jeon Somi, K-Wave singer and actor Ahn Hyo Seop – who signed up as brand ambassador for Lacoste in early March – and emerging Chinese film star Wang Yi Bo, all pictured inside the cavernous jaws of a giant crocodile. The French sportswear brand, renowned for its crocodile logo, is putting its Asian ambassadors centre stage, deploying a communication strategy that underpins its ambitious growth plans in Asia.

South Korean singer and actor Ahn Hyo Seop featured in Lacoste’s latest ad campaign – Lacoste

Last year, Lacoste developed a collaboration with Smiley that went on sale exclusively in China, to boost its market appeal in Asia. The brand, founded in Troyes and owned by Swiss group MF Brands, also opened a decidedly cool Shanghai pop-up store in a retro space featuring the design codes typical of arcade games. China plays a key role in Lacoste’s Asian market strategy, and the brand’s sales in the country grew by 15% in 2022, having increased 30% in the rest of Asia.

Sport fashion focus

Lacoste has a premium market positioning, and last year it appointed Pelagia Kolotouros as creative director. In 2024, the brand is keen to take “sport fashion to the next level,” both on the training ground and away from it.

Lacoste has celebrated its 90th anniversary in style by dropping a collectors’ polo and a collaboration with Netflix. In its Spring/Summer 2024 campaign, the brand is shining a spotlight on its team of long-standing ambassadors, like Novak Djokovic, the tennis player with most Grand Slam titles in history, US tennis player Venus Williams, and French actor Pierre Niney, signed up by Lacoste in February, who is filmed throwing a tennis ball into a giant crocodile’s jaws.

The crocodile, 8 m long and 3 m tall, has pride of place in the photoshoot by Belgian photographer Willy Vanderperre, alongside the brand’s ambassadors dressed in unmistakeably elegant French style. The monumental crocodile is the work of contemporary artists Imruh Asha and Ibby Njoya. The campaign video’s soundtrack was composed by Mexican jazz musician Antonio Sánchez, known for the original score of the Birdman film.

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