Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There are no words....but I'll come up with something

There are no words that can accurately detail the horror I felt when viewing the following commercial:

Skechers:  SHAME ON YOU.  Shame.  On.  You.  I've never purchased a pair of Skechers of any kind and now I positively never will.  Granted, I'm not their target market, but my kids are and hells no, I'm not giving them a dime of my husband's hard earned money.

Part of me doesn't even want to write this post and link the TV ad because then I feel like I am perpetuating this train wreck of a marketing concept.  At first, when I felt the initial rage welling up inside me, I thought perhaps it's menopausal Maude coming out, it really couldn't be that bad could it?  So I watched it again, and yes, it's that bad.

I am so upset I honestly don't even know where to start.  Do I start with the fact that this ad is objectifying young girls who've barely started to wear bras?  That it makes them look like little mini-prostitutes? 

Do I start with the fact that it, in fact, appears that "Daddy" might possibly be a wink-wink reference to a pimp?

Do I talk about the fact that I find it disgusting that this TV spot insinuates how young girls can dress up in their daisy dukes and ask their Dads for money to buy teenage hooker shoes and he'll hand over a wad of cash because he's A) clueless about the fact that the shoes cleverly disguised as hideously ugly tennis shoes are really high heels and B) he's trying to get rid of the girls as quickly as he can because he's getting a boner over her friends in their stripper clothes? Ugh.

I've watched the ad a couple of times and there are just a few inconsistencies I'd like to point out.  And, for the record, my nine year old is almost 5 feet tall.  I will buy a pair of these shoes the moment I win the Miss American Pageant contest.  Which is, you know, like NEVER.

For one, Skechers is operating under the grossly outdated assumption that Dads have any money.  Last time I checked, from the moment of conception any and all spare change is given to, stolen by and spent on the every whim of our children.  Pretty sure any spare wads of cash are stowed safely in my kid's piggy banks.

Skechers also appears to assume that these daughters are either A) the product of a broken home or B) they have no mother or C) they are being raised by a pack of wolves.  Or ladies of the night (remember that thing about the pimp?). 

Because I swear to you that I can count on one hand the number of mothers I know that would ever ever ever ever ever in the history of ever and all that's good and holy ever ever ever let their daughter out in public looking like that: NONE.

Also, do the creative folk at Skechers REALLY think "DADDY" is that stupid?  That he wouldn't notice the shoe is slightly oddly shaped or think his teenager has hit a growth spurt all of the sudden when she bops home in her zebra striped "tennis shoes" paired with what can only be described as a "Pretty Woman Halloween costume?" 

Men, God love them, are far more observant than we give them credit for.  Him: "Hey Maude, when did you get those boots?"  ME:  "Oh these?  I've had them FOREVER, I just don't wear them very much."  Him: "Really.  When did you get them?"  Me: "OK, they were on clearance, like only $20, and I had to get them, they were normally like $80!"  (translation: $29.99 on clearance from $59, jussayin). 

Damn him and his keen observation skills.  I mean seriously, the man can find the one gray hair my Preference by Loreal hair color missed from across the room.

And seriously people.  As a woman, I've spent well over half of my life topping out at just a hair over 6 feet tall.  You mean to tell me I suffered all those "stretch" and "Larry Bird's daughter" jokes as a kid only to grow up and discover that in this crazy parallel universe girls actually WANT to be taller now?  WTF?!

Skechers totally missed the mark on their target audience with these shoes too.  No joke, I showed my nine year old (who wears a size 5.5 thankyouverymuch) and she was completely disgusted by the ad.  Her words were: gross and inappropriate.  I love her so much.

And the last time I checked, animal prints, chunky earrings, clothing items made of netting and bright florescent colors were locked in a time capsule known as the 80's, and also VH1's Behind the Music episodes.  And occasionally at Justice (a store for girls that makes me want to pop a Valium and down a bottle of wine before I ever step foot in there).

I actually think that Skechers might even be the teeniest bit embarrassed by their own product.  There's a website designated specifically for these shoes, but the funny thing is I was hard pressed to find the Skechers name anywhere on it: 

I swear to you I wanted to smash my g-damn computer speakers because every fricken time I clicked on a link on this website I heard the unmistakable sound of "cha-ching", eluding to the fact that Daddy's are nothing more than a cash register. 

Maybe to some girls they are, but seriously, I wanna be a fly on that wall during the brainstorming (or in this case brainshitting) session that this "whore in training" marketing concept came from. 

My guess is that they were locked away for an entire weekend, told they couldn't come out until they came up with a winning concept and in a fit of desperation hatched this hapless egg thinking they would get a break and instead Skechers rolled with it.

I'm willing to bet a pair of legwarmers, most of the team has now fled the country.

I could go on and on about this company, the ad, the concept, but I find that I've devoted far too much time and ink on what amounts to a campaign that thinks it's OK to dress our daughters up like call girls and inappropriately use their budding sexuality to manipulate money out of their fathers.

Hey Skechers, here's another idea that seems to be in concert with your branding:  why don't you offer a free "temporary" tramp stamp with every Daddy's Money streetwalker shoe purchase?  That's gold right there.

Hey, somebody let me know if they start doing that?  You know they will. Maybe I can collect some royalties....

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