Monday, February 7, 2011

Did Anyone See That Sketchers Super Bowl Ad?

Like most people last night, I tuned in for the Super Bowl.  Being a hardcore football fan, watching the Superbowl is no different than any other Sunday during the regular season.  However, the extra element of joy comes in the form of commercials.  I always look forward to the creative things companies come up with. 

For example, this year, some of my highlights were the Detroit-based Eminem commercial for Chrysler, the VW Darth Vader commercial, and several of the Doritos commercials.  Each of these commercials brought creativity and not just another rehash of something else we've seen before.  I appreciate those companies that strive for impactful commercials.

On the other hand, there were the Sketchers commercials.  One with Joe Montana and the other with Kim Kardashian.  Both claiming that the shoes essentially solve your problems without you actually needing to do anything.  All you have to do is wear them.  To quote the commercial, "Bye bye trainer, Hello Shape Ups".  Right...

Most people see these kinds of products and jump at them, because they see them as quick fixes.  It's scary to look around these days and see how many people forked over money to buy these with the hopes that it will make you in better shape.  Not to be rude, but when was the last time you actually saw someone in shape actually wearing them out in public?  I almost always see people of the opposite category as the ones who are wearing them.

But before dismissing them based on that fact alone, I wanted to take a closer look at the technology behind it. 

- "Shape Ups are designed to help improve your life by changing the way you walk". 

- The shoe does this through the use of wedge, that "creates natural instability, forcing your body to constantly adjust to maintain proper balance and positioning".

- But the shoe also claims "lower impact on joints", because "Shape Ups were designed to simulate a more natural walking surface".

Hmmm.... Let me see if I get this straight.  Our bodies weren't designed correctly, so we need to develop shoes that change the way we walk?  The shoe corrects our poorly designed bodies by creating instability UNNATURALLY through the use of a wedge, which then simulates a more natural walking surface?

Well call me confused!  Seems to be there is a whole lot of contradiction in those statements!  Wouldn't the best way to simulate a natural walking surface be to, you know....walk.  On a surface.  Naturally.

One other fun thing I'd like to point out is that nearly every claim on the site contains the word "may" in it.  So and so "may result in" a stronger back.  Oh, they also use the old "studies have shown" trick.  Really?  What studies?  A quick search yielded a number of class action lawsuits over the past year.  Don't want to do the work and search for them?  Fine - here is a link to one, and an excerpt from it below:

You can thank me by sending your $80-$100, which you would have spent to "get in shape" with these stupid shoes, directly to me.  I accept cash, credit, whatever ;)

Ouch!  Findings like those kinda hurt the street cred.  But what shocks me is that this was back in August 2010!  Here were are, more than 5 months later, and they are still promoting the darn things!  The lesson here is that there are no short cuts to anything.  If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.


it's all about pace said...

good post... "snake oil" vintage 2011

The Lazy Triathlete said...

I made a very similar, but much less complete, statement when saw the KK commerical for these. There are no quick fixes.


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