PUMA: Cell Stellar ft Nomzamo Mbatha

PUMA were launching the PUMA Cell Stellar. We were asked to shoot the new range and the ambassador in a throwback style.

The Brief

The year is 1998. Snoop Doggy Dogg is on the airwaves, Nomzamo Mbatha is 8 years old and PUMA has released CELL Technology. Fast forward to 2018: Snoop Doggy Dog is just Snoop Dogg (after several iterations), Nomzamo is a SA celeb, and an official PUMA SA Ambassador, and 90s back catalogue running shoes are cool.

PUMA were launching the PUMA Cell Stellar. A chunky sneaker inspired by the Cell Alien. And who better to fill these kicks than nineties kid, Nomzamo Mbatha. We were asked to shoot the new range and the ambassador in a throwback style, while highlighting the brand creative platform ‘OWN THE UNKNOWN’ – and the Cell Unit in the heel.


  • Creative Directors: Anthony Bila & Kenny Morifi-Winslow
  • Photographer: Mpumelelo Macu
  • Videographer: Jason Haji-Joannou
  • Wardrobe Stylist: Mahlatse James
  • Production Assistant: Thabang Madia
  • Hair & Makeup: Nomzamo Glam Squad
  • Props Master: Mike Fernandez
  • Photo Retoucher: Ashiq Johnson
  • Graphic Design: Dale Anne Scogings
  • Motion Graphics: Matthew Deuse
  • Video Editor: Jason Matthews

The MMMob Approach

The Creative Director on the project already had a vibe in mind – Cosmic, with a splash of Stranger Things, shot to look like it was a frame from a VHS tape. With the direction in mind, the MMMob went on to ideate the exact setups.

Props were key to giving the shoot context, so we called in an expert PropsMaster, who had to source the original artifacts – from a boombox, and a walkman, to a Gameboy and VHS cassettes. The rest of the texture and time machine tricks, would be done in Post-Prod.

Shoot day was tight. The stellar starlet was flying into SA for just twelve hours, before jetting off again. MMM decided to do the shoot in a spacious photographic studio in front of a green screen, where we had complete control of the environment. The MMMob crew arrived ahead of time, and just one hour after stepping on set, Nomzamo was behind the camera. Video and Photos were shot alongside each other, and each pose was premeditated. For the Rubik’s Cube set, Nomzamo was positioned on a big white wooden cube, knowing it would be transformed into a toy, by our Post-Production wizards.

Four looks later, it was a wrap on the shoot. The footage was handed over to the studio for a complex Post-Production procedure. All the selects had to be prepped, cleaned, and isolated, via deep etching (Photo) and rotoscoping (Video). Only then could the typical Photo and Video editing process start, including cropping, sequencing, colour grade, removals of creases, cosmetic retouching and more. The team worked closely with a Graphic Designer, who shaped the visual elements into existence.

The result was a fly collection of content, which a nineties teenager would kill to have plastered across their bedroom walls.

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