Reebok's Appalling New Ad Campaign

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THE PLANK DECEMBER 9, 2009

Reebok's Appalling New Ad Campaign

Has anyone else seen Reebok’s campaign for EasyTone, its new sneaker targeting women? Since Reebok bought 3,000 TV ads for November and December there’s a good chance you have. But if not, here it is:

It took being assaulted by this ad a few times to pinpoint what makes it so horrifying. The message of the ad seems to be: what women really want is to have a butt so cute that they will be objectified like the woman in the ad. If a man is focusing on, say, the words coming out of your mouth, clearly your butt is not cute enough. Sadly (or predictably) it seems to be working! The sneaker is Reebok’s biggest hit in years.

One might think wearing the sneaker would be embarrassing, the equivalent of copping to a less than perfect rear end in public. But, as the recent death of a former Miss Argentina from elective butt augmentation suggests, the stakes are so high--fixing flaws, attaining the perfect body, shedding insecurities--that shame is rarely part of the equation.

Here is the piece I was waiting for about this campaign.

Two highlights: the study proving the benefit of the shoe (it supposedly works your gluteal muscles 28% more than a regular sneaker) was based on a single study of five women. And I love this:

The shoes are designed only for walking, and because of the instability design, wearers are discouraged from running, jumping and engaging in other athletic activities while wearing them.

So, basically, in the pursuit of a tighter butt, women should not run or play sports, but walk around in a specific (pink) sneaker. Nice.

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