A little bit ago, Wes highlighted an ad that irked him from Pearl Izumi. I hadn't had a chance to see the ad yet, but I remember thinking that it must be pretty edgy to get under Wes' skin! :) Over the weekend, though, I brought my Runner's World mag with me as a special treat to read on vacation and finally saw the ad.
For those who haven't seen it yet, here is the text...
"We are not joggers. At Pearl Izumi, we don't jog. We run. And we think that matters. The thing is, running is endangered. You might find this hard to believe. After all, the number of entrants in your local 10k is surely on the rise, and every Saturday the park is packed with people prancing around in brand-new trainers, trying to nurture their chi or look good for their wedding or whatever. Unfortunately, a few if any of them are running. They're jogging, a half-hearted fore-aft movement of the legs that has about as much in common with running as bowling. And with all the jogging going on out there, runners are losing the soul of their sport. A sport that started with our ancestors running down dinner and remains to this day predatory at its core. Joggers are prey. Runners are hunters. If you belong to the latter group, revel in the fact that you sit firmly atop the bipedal locomotion foot chain. And run like an animal."
Well, now I understand Wes' state of irk! I felt it was necessary to share this runner's impression of their media message to the company, via email. I would imagine that I will receive the stock response, but I believe it's important to be an active consumer and this is a foolish and insulting campaign.
To whom it may concern,
I just wanted to express my distaste with your recent ad campaign, maligning joggers to the benefit of "runners."
You clearly have strayed from your consumer base. For the benefit of the humor you apparently saw in the comparison, you alienated the majority of Americans who benefit from the accessibility and affordability of running as a way to increase health and activity. You mock those who run for greater fitness, those who set personal goals and those who see collective running -- such as in a local race benefiting police or children's charities -- as a way of giving back to their community. You ignore the very important role that these individuals play in continuing to build the sport of running as not only an activity, but also as an industry -- an industry from which you directly benefit in product sales and brand promotion. It is this very group of individuals you mock -- who are preparing for weddings or staving off heart disease or diabetes -- that makes the sport of running a national movement towards greater health in an unhealthy nation and greater community involvement in an increasingly isolated body politic.
I am neither an elite runner, nor a fast one. I clog my local 5K and 10K races with my pesky entrance fees. I have personal fitness goals and see running as a way to achieve those goals. And I subscribe to Runner's World, where I saw your ad, as well as Inside Triathlon, Triathlete Magazine, Trail Runner, and Running Times. And I buy shoes and clothing. Lots of it. And I feel that your company, unfortunately, does not represent my needs as a consumer any longer.
And lastly, I don't jog. I run.
Now, take a second to check out Comm's recent post about what we do, because he clearly gets it!