Rakuten launches North America push, with Steph Curry and puppies

The brand has started an aggressive marketing campaign by ad agency Duncan Channon.

Puppies and Steph Curry: an unbeatable combination.

The pair are front and center of Rakuten’s campaign created in partnership with ad agency Duncan Channon. NBA star Curry recently signed a multi-year brand ambassador agreement with the company.

Rakuten, which allows members to earn cash back while shopping at more than 2,500 retailers, is doubling down on a major marketing investment to introduce its brand and online loyalty platform to consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

"Rakuten is all about rewarding consumers as they do the things they already do," said Michael Lemme, chief creative officer at Duncan Channon. As "enormous fans" of Curry's team, the Golden State Warriors, as well as of "sweet, sweet pupperinos," the agency had fun creating stories for these characters, Lemme added.

Rakuten has been working toward its entry in the North American market since it acquired cashback shopping platform Ebates, and its 12 million customers, for $1 billion in 2014. In addition to TV advertising, Rakuten has aggressively been building its US presence as an official partner of the NBA, a three-year, $60 million jersey-badge partnership with the Golden State Warriors and recent partnership with Steph Curry on his "Underrated Tour."

"We’re excited about how these entertaining new spots will accelerate the strong momentum we’re building for Rakuten in North America," said Kim Miller, CMO at Rakuten North America. "Building our presence in the U.S. via our sports partnerships and advertising is a top priority for the brand this year." 

Rakuten hired Group SJR in Q1 for rebranding support as it eliminates the Ebates brand. 

This story first appeared on campaignasia.com. 

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