The recent flurry of outrage over the Reebok ad “Cheat on your girlfriend, not your workout” raised outrage in me too. Not outrage over the ad but in the fact that we have become a nation (or world) of hypersensitive, thin skinned people. Sorry folks but I call it as I see it. In no way do I honestly believe Reebok was condoning cheating on your girlfriend (or boyfriend, spouse or significant other, if you want to cover the bases). They were making a clever poke at the importance of your workout in a way that would grab your attention. In order to be Politically Correct (which should be a division in any company today – headed by a CPCO) Reebok could have said “You wouldn’t cheat on your girlfriend so don’t cheat on your workout.” Not quite the same impact if you ask me. The ad would probably have gone unnoticed (wasted advertising dollars) and never mentioned on the social networks let alone in a blog. . The Huff Post STYLE section included this prominent post
“Reebok ‘Cheat On Your Girlfriend’
Campaign Gets Pulled
For Obvious Reasons (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
REALLY – this is that big a deal? Obvious Reasons – Video & Photos –
WOW this must be SOME scandalous ad… LOL
OK Folks… HERE IT IS -
Since it launched, Reebok has pulled the offending ad and “mea culpa’d” all over the place, appeasing those whose sensibilities have been irreparably damage at having seen the ad… I envision mothers across America covering their children’s eyes as they walk past a bus stop displaying the offensive poster… Oh that’s right, the ads were only posted in men & women’s locker rooms in 85 gyms in GERMANY. Congratulations to Reebok for getting so much mileage out of a test market. The outcome of all this outrage; probably more visibility for Reebok than if nobody had said anything pro or con regarding these posters
In this case, given the facts – 85 locations in a foreign country – leads me to the conclusion that it’s not moral outrage of an egregious advertising campaign but the ability to whip a crowd into frenzy via the viral, social networking world we live in. It makes me wonder if a television show like “All in the Family” would even be considered by politically correct, gun-shy advertisers in today’s world (and FYI Folks, that’s how shows get made), let alone make it to the air waves. I’m not promoting an anything goes philosophy for marketing. No matter how PC a company or the ad campaign they run is – believe me, they are going to offend someone, somewhere. Most recently, JC Penny and Starbucks came under fire as companies who offended a group with their philosophy or advertising spokesman (or spokeswoman or spokesperson or spokesignigicant other – OY what a chore to be PC all the time). We all saw how well those boycotts worked and personally I’m glad the companies didn’t back down. I respect that.
My suggestion today is to the masses who are bombarded with advertising messages from every angle all day long, every day of the week… “Cowboy Up People” there are plenty of things that should incite you to action – this just isn’t one of them.
BTW – If anyone knows someone at Reebok, I’d love one of the posters, if they haven’t all been burned in the village square!