How Reebok Just Pulled a Rush Limbaugh

Reebok cheat on your girlfriend adA short post today.

I buy sneakers.

You buy sneakers.

But what I’m not looking for is my athletic apparel to take a “shock jock” stance with its advertising campaigns. Maybe you are. Who the hell am I to judge?

But what I can do is vote with my wallet when Reebok advocates cheating on your girlfriend instead of cheating on your workout regimen. My sneakers just pulled a Rush Limbaugh. Which means I’m changing sneakers.

I dished about it over on The Power of Unpopular…and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

There’s a great comment already from Doyle Albee, discussing how it’s simply a head-scratcher (and he uses a great sports team analogy to boot).

And tomorrow, there’s a real blog post. It needed some editing. So I’m still working on it. And yes — it’s a Bitch Slap. See you then.

17 comments
Denise
Denise

Taptaptap waiting for the "Bitch Slap"! Doesn't matter to me it Reeboks are in or out of fashion, this ad campaign is not funny!

tomRmalcolm
tomRmalcolm

I guess the "too much time" problem would apply to you as well, responding to all these people with "too much time on their hands". lol.  Doesn't matter that Reebok might not be relevant these days. Doesn't matter that Reebok fell on their face trying to be provocatively edgy.To me the irony in their ad is that they are grasping at "provocative edginess" with blind eyes. They pick out some seemingly analogous relatedness that is a stretch at best and think that constitutes clever.  The whole moral question of cheating could actually be made to be funny, even though most would consider the behavior a serious insult and the perpetrator should consider some high quality therapy. lol.  To use the subject of cheating in an ad, they would need to make the butt of the joke the cheater, not the cheatee!  But then that would require some real finesse and creativity. Which clearly Reebok nor their agency possess.  But it's as bad as the standup comic who thinks because he can use just as much profanity as Murphy or CK, that he is funny. When he too, just comes off as sophomoric and boring. There's a real skill to profanity which I wish the fuck I had!Reebok was neither funny, nor clever, rather simply stupid. 

Killian
Killian

I quit buying Reebok when it came out a few years ago that they supported apartheid practices in South Africa.  I'd thought about trying them out again, but I think this will make me a solid "no Reebok" girl.  And yeah, I get that the ad is supposed to be hyperbole, but I feel that it's still in poor taste which just negates the message.  A clever ad will make you snort behind your hand  and maybe shake your head a bit, but without the snort, it's just an overstepped boundary.

Peter
Peter

This ad is a sexist and misogynistic attempt to boost revenue and win customers. What is offensive about it? The sexist part. The misogynistic part. The horrible confusion belying the idiotic assumption that sexism and/or misogyny (in any form) are good for the bottom line and/or society. What douche at Reebok approved this? What Marketing Expertise fails to see is that sexism and  misogyny in any form (be it provocative attempts at marketing, blatant idiocy, or failed humor) is not innocuous. It is what it is: sexism, misogyny. 

Sandor Benko
Sandor Benko

Bad taste. Disappointed in Reebok. I'm just about to replace my running shoes and now I know what I won't be buying.

Marketing Expertise
Marketing Expertise

The reason I don't like Rush Limbaugh, beyond the fact that he's absurd rightist shill for the most conservative fringe of the Republican Party (not to mention a hypocritical, racist, sexist sleaze), is that he is a complete and total reactionary - that's really his entire ridiculous and tired shtick - blah! I have to call you out, however, for being quite reactionary yourself in response this Reebok ad. First of all, who wears any Reebok shoes or apparel - we're a decade into the new Millennium - get yourself some Asics already!?! I had a pair of Reebok tennis shoes in the 7th grade (circa 1986 - not to date myself) and I haven't thought of them since, because that's the last time they were relevant. Hating on Reebok is like hating on Keds - no one cares. The ad is clearly an attempt to be funny in an edgy, proactive manner, which I would agree is  really  not funny, or even provocative, in fact it's innocuous -  I mean come on, it's 2012, does this honestly offend anyone? To put this in modern day context, consider that Sirius/XM radio continuously airs ads for Ashley Madison, a dating site designed for married people to hook up and have affairs - Ashley Madison seems a whole lot more offensive than this ad - I mean come on, try to maintain a little perspective on the reality of world we live in. Let's flip the script. Lean Cuisine markets low-calorie frozen foods - including desserts.  Picture a Lean Cuisine cheesecake promo poster featuring cheesecake in the foreground, a close up of a women's satisfied smile (from the nose down) with a fork poised in front the background, and a caption that reads: Cheat on your boyfriend, not your diet. Does anyone find this offensive? You shouldn't, because it's not. Nor is it provocative or funny or clever - similar to this Reebok ad. If you want to criticize the piece because it represents a poor attempt at humor, is in poor taste or simply because it falls flat - by all means, and I agree with you. Anyone who is honestly riled up or offended by this, however, has WAY too much time on their hands.

Mike Masin
Mike Masin

I love the irony that it ran concurrent with the season premier of Mad Men.  The bright bulbs that wrote that creative should study Shirley Polykoff.

Rubberfins
Rubberfins

Really!? They paid someone to come up with this brain fart of an idea.

Shane
Shane

Whoa hold on! Does anybody get that this is tongue in cheek. You really think they are advocating cheating on your girlfriend??? It is hyperbole folks. Don't take shit so literally. Lighten up Francis.

Daryl Wallace
Daryl Wallace

Homegoal. Ad firm creative's likely dominated by mad men. Another case of not appreciating and respecting one's market.  Creatives need to consider and appreciate that women influence most of household spending. Nike would never have made this blunder and has been doing an amazing job of attracting women. RIP Reebok.

Mary
Mary

I like my New Balance. Reeboks needs to get a new ad firm. That ad is insulting. Thanks for the heads up.

Tom Malcolm
Tom Malcolm

Here's a reprint of a little sign I have in my office that applies to this "are you shittin' me?" idiocy by Reebok... "Too often, we loose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, BUT, it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and bitch-slap that mother fucker upside the head."So here's to you Reebok, a sincere bitch-slap upside your head!Seriously, what the fuck are you thinking???Tom Malcolm

Dennis (Higgipedia) Higgins
Dennis (Higgipedia) Higgins

I'm as shocked by the ad as I am that people still wear Reeboks. I'm a Brooks guy myself. Asics and Saucony are decent as well.