Marketing and Bullshit: Part 3 The Importance of Being Relevant

So fuck, haven’t we just infected poor little Sarah with the marketing bug? She’s been writing all sorts of shit about advertising sport, cycling and cycling clothing to women. I’d encourage you to catch up on her excellent series of posts about the Adidas #mygirls campaign, marketing to women and cycling clothing for women before we go any further down the rabbit hole. After all, it pays to know what you’re getting yourself into.

In the meantime, here’s a little something to welcome Sarah officially to the dark side:

It’s funny because it’s true. Now come on over for another stroll through the wonders and delights of all the power the dark side has to offer as we explore fragmented markets and the importance of being relevant.

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How not to try to sell cycling clothing to women – and three companies who get it right

So, on Sunday I mentioned the Assos ad that was featured in Fatcyclist’s blog – the one where the woman’s on her knees in spray-on, wet-look trousers and stilettos, and they admit, in the advert, that the jersey has been designed for men to look at rather than for women to cycle in….  and although I promised myself I was leaving the marketing posts to Dan from now on, I wondered if maybe we were being mean about Assos, and decided not to judge them on the strength of one advert alone.  Guess what?  It actually gets worse!

Firstly, rocking up on their front page and flicking through their slideshow, there’s a weird thing where all the photos of products for men are illustrated with photos of men riding bikes…..  and those for women with models standing or kneeling around with porn faces.  So far, so bad.  But how, I wondered, would they show off the actual clothing?  Why, like this!

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Marketing, cycling and women

It’s been one of those weeks, where suddenly I’m seeing all kinds of things about marketing, cycling and women, so here’s a selection of links to some things I found interesting.

Firstly, I am still in love with the adidas #mygirls campaign.  You can read my thoughts here, but more and more things keep hitting me about it – for example, isn’t how they show hair interesting?  Usually sports adverts have women with long, glossy hair cascading out behind the woman – and I have to say, that’s never how my (admittedly long, blonde) hair looked in any sports I did.  There’s the interesting cultural differences highlighted in Bara’ah in Jordan wearing her hijab, and Asisat in Nigeria with hers in plaits, that adds to the whole “united around the world” vibe, while feeling very natural – but Hannah‘s hair is tied back and hidden by a bike helmet, and Ingrid‘s is tied back and wet from the water – and I think that just accentuates the aspirational, real vibe – this is how we look when we do sports, and don’t we look great?

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I’ve mentioned Collyn Ahart‘s writing on the blog before, but there are some articles she wrote that she linked to in her #mygirls post that I really liked.  Collyn does a lot of work on marketing and brand strategy, and I loved her post on sports marketing to women, the issues with the three main ways sports brands target women:

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adidas – #mygirls

Sometimes I see an advert that just grabs me, and says something so right, that makes me smile so much, that I think “fuck it, from now on, I’m only ever buying from you”.  Yes, I know the primary goal is to make money, but bloody hell, the adidas #mygirls campaign does so much more, I can’t stop watching the ads.  Here’s the cycling filmette, featuring Hannah Walker of Matrix Fitness Racing Academy and a group of young British cycling girls like Penny Rowson and Eli Thorogood of the Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team.  And below the jump I’ll try to be a bit more sensible about why I love these ads.

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Help me help you

So we’re well into 2013 and the development of #ClickThruThurs is continuing. By now you should already be quite familiar with the initiative and the many reasons that it’s a good thing. What I’d like to take some time to do now is explore in a little more detail the ways in which your clicks count, and why such a simple action can lead to really positive things. Help me to help you understand how best to manipulate educate marketers to get what you want. Yep, I said it…

That’s right team, it’s time to delve slightly further into the fucked up world of marketing!

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