Forget Marzocchi – What About the Maxxis Calendar?

Date Jan 4, 2016

Dear Uncle Dave:

The new Maxxis Babes Calander, which is about to send us back to the stone age, hasn’t really gotten that much media attention…

maxxis_babes

In case you were wondering…

Does mtb media in general like free tires a little bit too much? Will you (and NSMB) do something about it?

/Rubbershly Embarrassed.


 

Dear Rube:

We touched on a similar topic a few weeks back. Mistakes were made. There was some backlash.

The funny thing is that I told myself a few months ago that if I’m going to come at anything with negativity, I need to make sure that I don’t personalize it. Make it about the ideas or the actions, not the person. It’s cheap to take shots when somebody probably doesn’t have a chance to respond for themselves. I will remind myself of this once again.

The reason that this didn’t even cross my mind this time around is because it was a throwaway question that I included to pad things out for the week. I never imagined anybody would take it seriously. My main focus was on the Nimby section and I was mostly worried that I would inadvertently phrase things wrong, get labelled as some kind of ISIS sympathizer, and then find myself cavity searched and on a no-fly list. So I played with that part for a little while and when it was done and I was as happy as I can get while writing these things, I realized that it wasn’t long enough to stand on its own. So I scrolled through a few more questions, grabbed the Marzocchi one and barfed out a couple of lines about it. It was a less-than-serious question and I gave it a less-than-serious response.

I mentioned the 10-seconds-of-Bryson-in-the-back-of-a-truck-gyrating-awkwardly-with-two-scantily-clad-women clip because, for me, that was the most memorable Bomber Girl moment. Here was this amazing movie that changed everything, and right into the middle of it somebody popped a bad interpretation of an 80’s music video. “What the fuck does this have to do with riding bikes?” I remember thinking. I didn’t blame Bryson for this clip. I felt a bit sorry for him that he was the face of it. I mentioned his name because he happens to be the sole recognizable element, so I used his name as a reference.

Unfortunately, by doing that I unwittingly hung the entirety of my criticism upon him, or at least that’s how some interpreted it. That was not my intention. But it was my mistake and for that I apologize. Sorry Bryson. That was dumb. I can imagine it would really suck to have people e-mail you about some jackass talking about you on the Internet.

The other mistake that I made is that this is actually a pretty important topic, and it deserved more time, effort and energy than 4-5 hastily written lines that kind of sucked. Based on this week’s question, and some of the comments I’ve read, things haven’t really changed much since 1995. So I’m going to plunge back in and talk a bit more about the whole “booth babe” culture, with some specific reference to Marzocchi, because they were the first and most popular example and because that was what touched off the initial shitstorm. I do realize that I’m pissing into the wind here, but so be it.

And one final note, I’m not talking about the sponsored rider Marzocchi Girls. I’m talking about the “booth babes” and “pin-up girls”.

Mountain biking has always been a fairly pure object for me. You get on your bike and you head out into the woods and you enjoy yourself. The mid 90’s rolled around and this changed somewhat. A lot of really great things happened, as we all know, and like most people I don’t want to go back to the days of shitty bikes and shitty trails. But a lot of unfortunate crap happened as well. Much of the push to build and sell a new “image” was horrendously unfortunate. We weren’t skateboarding, snowboarding or motocross. We were far nerdier than that and all of a sudden we were trying to shed all the stuff that got us to where we were in the first place. Almost overnight we went from quirky, outsider sport to paint-by-numbers “action sport” used to sell energy drinks. It’s all so forced and transparent and I thought that this sport was better than that.

Kranked and the Bomber (the fork, that is) were both a huge part of this change. They brought a lot of good (forks that didn’t suck, a new way to look at riding), some bad (terrible soundtracks, environmental destruction in the name of sick shots), as well as the widespread introduction of the Bomber Girl marketing campaign. Actually, I’m not even sure if “campaign” is a fair enough word. This really became the whole Marzocchi brand. And I get that. It certainly separated Marzocchi from some of the more boring companies of the day. Perhaps it was a stroke of marketing genius (I mean…we’re still talking about it). But there are many reasons why it sucked, and why it sucks that people are still using these techniques to sell things to us.

1 – This might be a slippery slope – It is difficult to discuss morality without passing judgement or sounding like a prude. The largest risk is that judgement is passed upon the women involved, where none belongs. However, the reaction to those women deserves judgement.

I have strong feelings about “booth babes” probably because I worked in the beer industry for quite some time. Nothing dragged down an event like the marketing jackasses showing up with their “beer girls” in tow. There’d be packs of men (and a very, very small number of women) drinking beer in khakis, having a relatively normal time of it, which would all come to an awkward halt when the lady with the pantsuit and the clipboard started barking orders at the women in bikinis, forcing them to mingle and converse. It was incredibly uncomfortable for all but the people footing the bill and four or five guys that were really, really into it.

Because what is the intention when you pay for a bikini clad woman to attend your event? You’re almost certainly encouraging a degree of ogling. Beyond that though, what? What has each woman consented to? Is the situation different if she’s wearing a bikini vs. short shorts and a halter top? Is there a mechanism for dealing with somebody who crosses the line? How do you identify that line? Everybody reacts differently and everybody has a different idea as to what is appropriate, so inevitably the line is crossed for somebody. And there’s usually at least one dude who crosses the line for everybody. As a famous philosopher once stated, these are some blurred lines. I can’t respect a company that thinks this is a good idea.

2 – This is a lame way to sell things – I don’t have a problem with photos of attractive humans, but I can’t respect the use of corporate soft-core as a tool to win my business. I’m insulted that somebody thinks that a bit of cleavage is going to pry money out of my pocket. I feel like the assumption being made is that all men are secretly just hormonal teenagers who will stop thinking objectively once suitably distracted with a hint of boob. It’s manipulative, it’s a sideshow and it detracts from whatever it is we’re supposed to be talking about.

3 – I don’t really think it works – Let’s go back to the original question. The original, original question.

What ever happened to the marzocchi bomber girls? It seems like the height of the company came when they were using sex appeal in their advertisement. Could this be the reason for the possible demise of the marzocchi brand?

People bought Marzocchi forks because they were durable and plush. People stopped buying Marzocchi forks when the reliability and performance suffered. Does anybody buy Maxxis tires because they have a racy calendar? Look at the beer industry. Large brewing companies owned 95% of the market when there were no other choices. They were a commodity with nothing to sell but an image. Once people got a taste for the larger world of beer, they hemorrhaged customers as nobody really cared about the circus of skin that they created. “Sex” buys you a few seconds of interest, but doesn’t buy you loyalty. It’s enough to get people into a booth, but if you don’t have a quality product to back it up, nobody cares for long.

4 – The whole thing is derivative – Okay. So bike ads were boring at the time. This was different, but it wasn’t “original”. All this did was take something that sucked in a different venue, and then applied it to bikes. Stuff like this existed in countless forums, from the Pirelli calendar to all the ridiculous biker magazines that they sell at Safeway. It’s also interesting to note that Pirelli isn’t even doing this anymore, and even Playboy has decided that there’s more to life than naked flesh. I don’t think this is the first year that Maxxis has done a calendar, but they’re about 40 years late if they think this is “edgy” or relevant.

5 – This trivializes an entire group within sport – Maybe men do buy the majority of your product and it makes sense to target them with your advertisements. But why do it in a way that could potentially alienate all the women we’ve been trying to bring into our sport for 20 years? Stuff like this just reinforces our boys club image and drags everybody down. Not to mention…

6 – Somebody actually called me “gay” – I’m not. But what if I was? What year is this? Should gay people not buy forks either? You should stop expressing your opinions in public, nameless Facebook cretin. Just go home, tell your family that you failed, and ask for some help. 

7 – Isn’t sexism supposed to be over? – We can cut Marzocchi some “back in the day” slack. But Maxxis gets no such excuse. Most likely the next President of the United States is going to be a woman (please god, anybody but Trump). Shouldn’t that be some sort of sign that things have changed?

You also asked what NSMB is going to do about all of this. First off, there are lots of companies handing out free tires, so let’s not get too crazy with the accusations. And are you suggesting that confusingly written, smarmy answers to questions posed by potentially imaginary people on the Internet isn’t doing something? Okay, Internet Gandhi.

So, there you go. I know I probably torpedoed the whole apology aspect of the first part of this piece. But I tend to do that.

Sorry (this is just a standard sign-off ‘Sorry’, not an actual apology),
Uncle Dave


Are there any winners this week? Thanks to OneUp Components there is one. Rube wins a OneUp chainring. Send a question to Uncle Dave – and you could win next week.

one_up

Rubes – you win a Direct Mount Traction Chainring. And yes – it is indeed out of round. This “12% ovality” ring (SRAM Direct Mount Shown) is said to smooth out your power stroke and give three benefits: Traction, traction, traction.


I see the comments splitting into two camps…

 

 

Comments

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Sept. 6, 2016, 10:47 a.m.

Don't forget the all-important sex ratio for ads with scantily dressed women. There must always be at least one or two more female objects than male subjects in any such ad. The casual male viewer must immediately understand (even with rudimentary math skills), that there are enough female units to satisfy the needs of each male, plus a couple extra units in reserve. This ensures a "sure thing" for each man in attendance, and provides them with options for maximizing the distribution of their genetic materials. The ad itself embodies a satisfactory experience.

The use of scantily clad women accentuates the trade show experience, as the escape from domestic quarters is suddenly furnished with (albeit fantastical) opportunities to find fornicating options outside of the trappings of marriage. It's all harmless though, surely totally harmless. Excite and titillate the travelling masses! Surely they will responsibly order some pay- per-view to satisfy their now coursing urges, and not seek out paid arrangements with a socio-economically disadvantaged female in the sex trade.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with any degree of inequality in our society. Each issue is separate an in a vacuum! Sex in advertising has nothing to do with gender inequality, and anyone that complains is simply being too sensitive! We should take no offence at the commodification of female flesh as a ploy to elicit our purchases. Freedom of expression! The world is open and equal! Only buy what you want!

Don't worry that we live in a world where female opportunities are structured by breast size and hip-to-waist ratios while male opportunities are structured more by technical skill. After all, I saw the way that Maxxis girl is smiling at me…she wants me to want her, and clearly she would not be doing this if she didn't want to. I mean, nobody kidnapped her and coerced her into that tight orange suit .So what if there is a world of subtle pressure pushing her to work options that will shrivel with her skin? My skills and technical expertise will persevere, and as I advance in my career, there will always be more shiny smooth young women available to fetch me alcohol, and stroke my ego-fantasy in just that right way.

Dave- you deserve the prize yourself this week. Thoughtful stuff.

Reply

powderturns
0
Mike  - Jan. 7, 2016, 7:40 a.m.

I appreciate this industry is small and perhaps you got an earful from Bryson, but who bears responsibility for that era more than him? He ran Marzochhi. He approved the marketing budget. He signed off on that campaign. Hell, as you noted, he was in the truck with the girls… Why the change in tone and why apologize?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 7, 2016, 9:48 a.m.

It's not really for me to speak for Dave or for Bryson, but hanging responsibility for that era on him is not fair by a long shot. Trade shows in that era, as well as magazine ads, were rife with examples that many brands bought into the old 'sex sells' adage. Marzocchi was simply the most notable example. Dave was apologizing simply for calling him out individually. For his part, Bryson didn't give anyone an earful, but some members of his Facebook posse took exception.

Reply

0
uncle duke  - Jan. 9, 2016, 7:25 a.m.

i recall the coves ads from the 90's. they had some overt sexual content in the georgia strait. (not say I'm complaining…)

wig
0
Wig  - Jan. 6, 2016, 8:04 p.m.

I don't think the Calendar has to be marketing at all. They just get their name where they can get it and I see this calendar ending up in a tire shop (not the show room). Ferrari has posters and calendars like this, but you will not see one in a showroom. Maybe there is a generation gap in the way women are portrayed in Motocross/Car shows/…..I feel weird for the Monster Energy Supercross girls and the UCI Podium girls -- it just seem out of place.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 7, 2016, 9:48 a.m.

Marketing is a big, broad term. No matter where whose wall this calendar appears on, it is absolutely a piece of marketing collateral.

Reply

0
Amanda  - Jan. 6, 2016, 9:12 a.m.

For the record, Maxxis sent an email yesterday (which I'm assuming many people received) saying that their UK Motorsport branding is, essentially, out of corporate control… Or something like that. The email also highlighted everything they've done for women on bikes and wished me happy holidays.

My only question is this: if your company has gotten so big and so widely controlled that keeping in line with one branding strategy that doesn't dismiss, objectify or dumb-down entire segments of the market is difficult, maybe you should consider condensing the branches of the company or creating a 'code of conduct' under which all marketing has to fall. Maxxis blaming this on an outsider-controlled branch of their UK moto division is just poor excuse-making. The brand ultimately suffers. That's the end cost. We'll move on. We always do. But Maxxis tolerating (or perpetuating a culture inside their brand that tolerates) this sort of advert is just plain stupid. Get your ducks in a line. 'On brand' means as part of your brand. Figure out what it is and move on. But don't parcel it out and expect consumers to forgive or understand.

Reply

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Jan. 12, 2016, 1:54 p.m.

I've spent a little time perusing your personal blog today and come back to this comment as it seems to be a distillation of your thoughts on this type of advertising. However, I don't feel that it would be reasonable for me to comment on Maxxis's email based on your interpretation of it here. It does seem clear to me that you care about the Maxxis brand. Why? You consistently defend the liberty of individual athletes to present themselves however they see fit. Why not a business? This is not an attack, I would like to understand why you care about it.

Reply

0
Amanda  - Jan. 13, 2016, 4:34 p.m.

This is an awesome question, actually. Thanks for asking it! I can see how some folks would ask the same thing. However, I'm vehemently against companies using sexual marketing to sell their products within cycling because not only are they making money off of the objectification and dehumanization of half of their industry's participants by doing so, they're insulting the other half by assuming they're motivated most strongly by their genitals. Individual athletes are free to make their own decisions because, and let's be brutally honest here, really, how many individual athletes can you count who have singlehandedly changed or influenced the future of our sport? I can name many companies who have, however, and who set the tone for how women and girls are treated and not only marketed to (if at all), but thought of by the larger industry. Research shows that the marketing we employ and the stories we tell over and over influence what we tell ourselves: if we're constantly seeing and hearing and having women maligned in our media, why would we even think about treating women as equals on the trails, in community forums and as buyers in the industry?

So while an individual athlete is usually forgotten after they leave the industry (with a few exceptions for those who ensure their own legacies), companies come here and stay here within our industry, especially those women who market themselves as sexual objects -- because once they're no longer sexually viable objects in their audience's eyes, their careers are essentially over unless they can pull a massive, mid-career rebranding bunny out of their magical hat. I'm not worried about those women. As individuals, as humans, their choices are their own. Companies who profit from the stories they sell to our audience over and over and over again that shape the very way we think, however, are another story. They have a responsibility to give back to the sport they profit from and who keeps their lights on, not to exploit its athletes and audience for as much money as possible.

My question for you: have you seen Burton snowboards lately? Have you looked at the snowboard industry lately, or at the major decline since Nike, Adidas, UnderArmor and other corporations have left? This is what will happen to MTB if we continue to treat our female industry participants as objects instead of individuals, as the snowboard industry has.

No company can sell a product with tits on it to a kid forever -- especially in a rapidly shifting market that favors the female buyer. There are an extremely limited amount of pseudo-'cool moms' who will foolishly buy into this sexual hype, and that audience cannot last forever. It will not. And it will create a bubble within our precious sport that will crush our buddy economy faster than you can say 'sex sells'.

Sorry for the long form answer. It's a complex, nuanced subject that is involved and very delicate. If you want to chat more, I'm always down to talk about it (or cycling economics or economics or pretty much anything) anytime. Hit me up. 🙂 Thanks again for this awesome question.

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Jan. 15, 2016, 12:50 p.m.

Thanks for the detailed reply, and sorry for the delay in my response. I'm certainly not put off by the length. I like to learn, and while I've done a couple of ethics classes at university and am familiar with some relevant concepts, I've never studied women and sexism in a formal sense. I appreciate your thoughts because I do think this is an important issue and I want to know perspectives and the issues. I actually have a less straightforward question about a gender issue at Uncle Dave now and I'm curious how that plays out. Anyway, back on point.

The main issue (dehumanisation) you bring up at the start is clear to me. I'm not 100% on board with the reasoning for your distinction between business's and individual's rights to do these sorts of things though. If the influence differential is as great a you say, and I'm not sold, then I'd say it is a significant factor. However, I think that reasoning gets blurred when an individual is behaving like that just to market themselves for sponsorship (but if it's sincerely who the are, awesome). And, that distinction almost doesn't exist if a company is sponsoring someone principally for the exposure they get through sexual marketing- there is very little difference in that scenario versus hiring the models for calendar above, aside from the currency they're paid in. I also think there's some really complex issues around the act of hiring women to do these sorts of things, and these haven't come up anywhere here, but I'll leave it at that for now.

I'm not familiar with the marketing in snowboarding, but I do snowboard. I hate a good proportion of the culture around sports that have that sort of social cache though. I grew up surfing and always found my disdain for superficiality at odds with my participation. Are you saying that the snowboard industry is down because misogynistic marketing was commonplace? That seems appropriate to me. And, I don't think I'd really care if the MTB industry melted down because of a backlash to shitty marketing. I pay to play though, and I don't have the means to rock the latest an greatest gear, so I don't have that much to lose. In writing that, I'm inferring that you would care based on what you wrote above. Is that why you care about Maxxis's marketing approach? Actually, I might not have been clear in my original question to you. While it was clear that the marketing approach used by Maxxis pissed you off and I generally understood why, to me you were displaying anguish beyond that, as if you don't want Maxxis to suffer in the marketplace. I don't think I'm explaining it quite right. It almost seemed to me like you'd been consulting with them on their marketing and were disappointed with them for making a stupid decision, not just that they were being degrading. Am I making sense? Maybe it's because you're in the industry and do have something to lose, but I suspect there's something I don't understand.

If we lived in the free-market capitalist system that we're told we live in, I think this sort of thing would be resolved fairly quickly, say within a generation, because they could choose alternatives. However, there are very small groups that have massively disproportionate influence through mass communication mechanisms that, owing to the psychological issues you mention above, effectively inhibit the freedom required for that system. These groups are mostly governments and large corporations, and they leave the populace in a sea of negative influence that they leverage for their own selfish ends. It takes far too much effort to exist reasonably in this environment. I'm not stupid, I know I sound like I'm a tinfoil hat wearing crackpot, but it seems quite clear to me that humankind has created some huge problems for itself through this mechanism. I hate all of it, sexism included. I fucking hate the greed and selfishness that lie at the core of it all. These fuckers take so much more than people's money.

kain0m
0
kain0m  - Jan. 6, 2016, 4:36 a.m.

I remember one quote of a former work-colleague that sums up the issue at hand quite well:
"He'd rather hang out with his girlfriend and have sex her with instead of going drinking with us. What a gay motherf***!".
I think many companies try to appeal to this very vocal crowd.

To me, it is quite the same as running a "like our facebook posting to win some shit" campaign - you get people gathered around in one place, expect them to listen to your message (which they won't) and then you wonder why it didn't work. People came for the free beer, the free "sex", the free stuff you can win.
I'm just sorry for the poor individual who thinks that this a valid marketing strategy - while I am about the opposite of a feminist, I do think that objectifying women for the sake of selling does make the situation way, way worse for both sides. If we don't respect women, why should the respect us?

P.S.: As an European, I found the way the typical waitress in a typical "edgy" bar in north america is dressed quite shocking. Stuff like that wouldn't work around here - actually, it'll get you into deep trouble. Again - you're selling a side amusement for the "wannabe alpha male" instead of an actual product.

Reply

0
Amanda  - Jan. 6, 2016, 9:07 a.m.

Hear hear! This isn't about feminism at all -- it's about business and not sexually projecting to a very small sample of the market that probably isn't buying much anyway. Why market that way? It makes no difference if the models are male or female, despite the outrage-filled commentary. Dismissing, objectifying or exploiting any one group for the assumed appeal to another is an excellent way to torpedo your branding.

Reply

kain0m
0
kain0m  - Jan. 7, 2016, 11:21 a.m.

Well said.

wacek-keepshack
0
Wacek Keepshack  - Sept. 6, 2016, 3:13 a.m.

I must say that it offends me as a male. How the F should this persuade me in any way to buy their tyre?! It actualy enrages me in a way, that it shows me the underlying factors, tw in particular: A there are people who find such advertsing technique to be cool and B there is a fucker at Maxxis who thought that people from point A must stand for a large portion of penis equipped humanoids. In psychopatic terms, it would be extremely interesting to see the effect of such campaign on their sales. Increase or Decrease. One thing is sure, I love Minions so much that I will not drop the company for some holistic reasons BUT I know that if I would like to try another company (like Michelin Rock'r or E-Thirteen TRS) that thing will be on my mind…

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Jan. 6, 2016, 2:21 p.m.

I wouldn't use the word "edgy" to describe those bars because they're mainstream, and typically a chain. And, as someone who moved to North America after growing up elsewhere, this aspect of the culture here strikes me as fucked. I love drinking in bars and pubs but hate having someone be fake nice to me, and dressing provocatively just to pry a bigger tip from me. I don't reinforce that behaviour and it just disappoints them.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Jan. 5, 2016, 11:20 a.m.

Trying to get a share of the Pirelli calendar market. Can't blame them for trying but do they really think some Maxxis-clothed women are going to make me buy their tires without reading reviews? Probably not. A good product (like Minions) doesn't need a marketing campaign. Maxxis should've put that project budget into R&D, IMO.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 5, 2016, 12:57 p.m.

This is not said in defense of these calendars, or Maxxis, but for what it's worth, the Maxxis calendar in question is only available in the UK, and is targeted at the automotive market. So, even though it's the same company and brand, it's very likely (and I know this from having had business side dealings with Maxxis in a previous life) that the global brand MTB marketing people (based in Georgia) and the UK division automotive marketing people (ostensibly based in the UK) have never met, and don't even know each other's names.

The only reason I point this out is so that we can focus on the calendar's existence and the issue at hand, and not worry that Maxxis MTB R&D $ is being funneled away from Minion compound development and into orange halter tops and photo shoots.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Jan. 5, 2016, 1:58 p.m.

Yes, I did note that it was the UK arm and was aimed at the automotive segment. Still, while the adult side of the web is by all accounts quite profitable, the campaign strikes me as tacky. Just my opinion.

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Jan. 5, 2016, 8:05 a.m.

Can't agree with you about this. I found your shame and lame offensive, let me be offended that yo disagree with a piece of boob. If you don't like a thing, don't buy it, it's simple A.F. . I would definitely appreciate a calendar like that, nothing as you talk about the similarities between an adolescent and man with hormonal needs, but with the fact that if instead of those girls, there would be athletes male and female mixed, I would like it either. You can't judge heterosexuality for it's heterosexual pleasing, like you stopped judging gay ( lesbianism included) for their gay needs. We leave in the era where almost everything is permitted, and we already passed a 2015 where everyone is offended of everything, so.. Stop being a bunch of jerks making an article like that, take your ride, ride happy and start smiling to life. Live and let others live aswell. Ty, good year!

Reply

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Jan. 5, 2016, 8:09 a.m.

Captain here: I made on purpose a contrasting response just to underline the point of this discussion.

Reply

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Sept. 6, 2016, 11:04 a.m.

Quick lesson here Luce- it's not about bashing heterosexuality. It's bashing mindless advertising that treats women as objects, and men as idiots. Unless of course you prefer it that way. Just saying 🙂

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Sept. 9, 2016, 8:49 a.m.

You just don't get it, really? And then trying to give me a lesson? really? How stupid are you? Like you believe woman doesn't watch a handsome guy with great abs, and many times another woman in the same way as we do? If you believe that all this is wrong, go ahead and talk to the models who done that calendar and see if she blames anything. Until she's fine with that, DO YOUR OWN BUSINESS! And I want to be that idiot that could admire an erotic image like that and turn back home and never want another woman than mine. If you get offended, deal with it, but before criticising everything, make a step back and watch the world spin from another angle. It isn't this the problem of the society nor their solving. It is where a woman is paid less than a man doing the same exactly job, or the rights in some countries just to live independent as a woman, but not here.

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Sept. 9, 2016, 12:19 p.m.

Luce - It's really hard to make sense of your ramblings. You have clearly missed the point of this article, along with most of the thread of conversation.

I'll try to explain it in grunts clicks and whistles for you. Men and women are more than just sexual identities or objects, and have purposes beyond pleasing each other and selling goods. This is not simply a matter of what offends people, but a matter of understanding how endorsing or supporting certain products serves to perpetuate patterns of inequality, objectification, and exploitation. Not just in "some countries", but "here" as well.

You seem really upset that this calendar and your love thereof is being questioned. It must really stir up some powerful feelings for you when your ideals of male and female are challenged. It seems to have completely short- circuited your ability to communicate with any degree of clarity. Why not spell it out, or make an actual point?

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Feb. 14, 2017, 5:23 p.m.

Again, let me tell you one more time. Keep your bullshit for yourself. I, one in a million have the courage to not agree with you, Is that all right with your ego? I hope yes. You cannot speak covering with your ideas and personality for everyone in this world. Those girs where paid for their job, a job that they also love to do and have fun. If maxxis don't sell that calendar at 50$ a piece I guess they even don't have a profit from that after all the work hours payment. Please, and please again, if something won't fit for you, stay chill and leave as it is, otherwise you keep saying that the few other/s that have the courage to respond to your "ramblings". Objectification is your issue so deal with it if you have any problem, do not pretend everyone should listen to your bullshit and pass over. I rather have an opinion than being a moron and uneducated as you show yourself. Stay chill and let it go. Ty, and with this I'm closing this.

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Feb. 14, 2017, 5:26 p.m.

sorry for bad spelling, I'm not a native English

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Feb. 14, 2017, 5:29 p.m.

HA, says Lucien la loser, about 3 months too late. Guess you can blame your delayed response on your primitive mind.

lucian-tabria
0
Lucian Tabria  - Feb. 14, 2017, 6:17 p.m.

I actually don't use discusse, only certain sites uses it, not do I complain or blame about, but while I had stuff to do you where here counting the days and minutes till I write again. Check yourself dude because your situation is getting hilarious.

cerealkilla_
0
jdt  - Feb. 14, 2017, 6:19 p.m.

Hilarious, because everyone is laughing at you, shit-for-brains.

kyle
0
Kyle  - Jan. 5, 2016, 7:07 a.m.

This is obviously for their Moto tires. I can't imagine how much MTB turds would lose their minds if they ever looked into Motocross. Please stay away, cry babies.

Reply

kyle
0
Kyle  - Jan. 5, 2016, 7:13 a.m.

Unless they actually made this for MTB, which at the very least they should know its not going to be taken well because everyone in mountain biking complains about everything, justified or not.

Reply

0
Amanda  - Jan. 5, 2016, 7:07 a.m.

I always appreciate your perspective and voice, Uncle Dave, and respect your response on this one -- you raise some very salient points that are often overlooked when this is brought up in what I assume have to be marketing pitch meetings, and hopefully, these points will hit home the more that people continue to raise them. Thanks for responding to this.

Reply

boomforeal
0
boomforeal  - Jan. 4, 2016, 11:15 p.m.

last week while driving through kingston ja. my son tapped me on the shoulder and said "dad, look!" he was pointing to a maxxis logo on the side of a car repair shop. i'd never thought of maxxis as a car-tire company… but a quick google image search of "maxxis girls" suggests that this unfortunate marketing strategy is a product of their motor-sports division. in fact, GIS "maxxis girl bike" and you won't find a single image of one of these unfortunate draped over an mtb…

straw man issue?

Reply

0
Amanda  - Jan. 5, 2016, 7:05 a.m.

As Maxxis is a brand heavily known within MTB, their 'motor sport' sexism is still sexism, regardless of which industry the marketing is directed to. Would you say that because this was primarily a UK campaign it doesn't matter in the US?

That's just silly talk. Maxxis (like Pirelli and PlayBoy) has seen the research on sexual marketing and they've seen the comings and goings of advertising in sport for the past 30 years -- a tired, creative fail of a marketing campaign is still a tired, creative fail… Not to mention insulting to any of their target market who has half a brain, whether it's motor sport or MTB. It's a bad business move from any angle.

Reply

boomforeal
0
boomforeal  - Jan. 5, 2016, 7:34 a.m.

I'm not disagreeing with any of that. I'm just not sure it's a mtb industry/culture issue, which is generally what Dave's column is about. If he's ready to tackle the worlds greater ills - sexism, evidence-contrary marketing decisions, etc. - bring it

aron-burgundy
0
A.Ron Burgundy  - Jan. 5, 2016, 9:15 a.m.

Not condoning the calendar, but for what it's worth, the whole Maxxis Babes thing is run by the UK office which is a separate entity from the US or Taiwan HQ. Basically, they own the brand in the UK and therefore chose how to position it. Apparently, they think this still flies there. It's aimed squarely at the automotive market, which, if we're being honest, is probably not as "progressive" as the MTB market.

The US office used to produce sexy-lady-type ads and posters (nude April Lawyer on a tricycle, anyone?) back around the time of the Marzocchi girls, but has long since stopped.

Alls I'm saying is, it's more complicated than just "Maxxis put out a cheesy babes calendar."

mtbzone.com
0
bikesales  - Jan. 5, 2016, 9:32 a.m.

Do you share your anger with Emily Batty, who recently posted to her 120,700+ followers on facebook a post with the caption, "Do these shorts make my but look big? Lol"?
Or is she just 'owning it"?
Where is all of the outrage?? You can't have it both ways….

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Jan. 5, 2016, 11:26 a.m.

" is probably not as "progressive" as the MTB market."

Understatement.

reformed-roadie
0
reformed roadie  - Jan. 6, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Where do you draw the line? The Maxxis calendar is tacky, indeed. But when Emily Batty is used for a web series ahead of more successful XC racers, or even other Trek athletes who dominate their (rising) discipline (T Mo.), why is that? Hell, the second one has her in a bikini…should I be insulted? Is it a creative fail if the sexual marketing is couched in something with more substance than just a single image?

0
Amanda  - Jan. 6, 2016, 3:40 p.m.

Here's the thing: I'm not drawing the line. Nor should anyone else. It's not your line to draw unless you are the athlete in question. As a brand, yes, there are lines drawn -- those go something like "don't objectify your athlete" or "why are you objectifying an entire market segment?" and "let's not sell our sport through sexual marketing", or MAYBE even "sell your product for what it is and why it improves our industry or cycling". Those are pretty clean lines, I think.

As for other lines? Those are up to the athlete's discretion. Let them choose their own brand. And if an athlete feels that the brand they built will outlast their sexual appeal, then more power to them. I'm pretty sure we can be trusted with our own careers. After all, we're adult humans. And if you feel that someone has a career in excess of their ability largely due to sexual appeal, maybe tell that to your buddies passing around those photos.

We can only draw lines for ourselves, not anyone else.

(Which was my response to a deleted comment here: )

0
Amanda  - Jan. 6, 2016, 3:42 p.m.

Also: to answer your final question… Yes. If you have to rely on sex to sell yourself, maybe you should ask if you're selling the right thing…? Sexual marketing is always a creative fail because it's the lowest hanging fruit and cliche as f*ck.

reformed-roadie
0
reformed roadie  - Jan. 7, 2016, 10:03 a.m.

I don't know if "Sexual Marketing" is the correct term, nor is it by default a fail.
The calendar is an extreme and poor example.
It has been proven via published experiments that humans are wired to trust attractive people more that unattractive people (all else being equal, in a controlled environment) -- regardless of the sex of either party. The whole idea of an endorsement is that you 'trust' the person who is trying to sell you. Do you trust a model in spandex's input RE: car tires? Of course not. But when it comes down to two accomplished athletes, trying to sell you a bike (or running shoes, or apparel ), the savvy marketer is going to go to opt for the one who is more physically attractive. Mountain biking is unique in that often the 'sexy' action shot has the rider with a helmet and googles, kinda taking that out of the equation.

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Jan. 4, 2016, 11:14 p.m.

Really was hoping to see this weeks winner receive a set of Maxxis tires or the Maxxis Calendar. 🙁

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Jan. 5, 2016, 12:53 p.m.

So that you could send a skewering tirade as response? 😉

Reply

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Jan. 5, 2016, 3:35 p.m.

Nope. I just like a good laugh once in a while

reformed-roadie
0
reformed roadie  - Jan. 5, 2016, 6:42 p.m.

I (heart) irony.

Reply

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - Jan. 4, 2016, 11:11 p.m.

I generally find marketing to be a poor substitute for understanding the pros and cons of what I'm going to get. I'd try talking to these women, see if one was appealing based on that and then spend some real time together, rather than assuming that just because these women really like maxxis tires that they must be great people. I just can't see a shared fondness of minions making a solid foundation for a long term relationship.

Reply

reformed-roadie
0
reformed roadie  - Jan. 5, 2016, 6:39 p.m.

Minions, no.
High Rollers, absolutely.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.