I’m a good wife. So when The Runner I Married settled down in front of the television recently to watch his beloved Toronto Blue Jays trounce the Boston Red Sox (he only likes to watch if they win), I joined him. For me, baseball is like a really long episode of “What Not To Wear”. The polyester suits, the questionable facial hair choices, the leather belts (on sports wear, really?) – it’s a highly enjoyable fashion train wreck. Though he has never mentioned it, I’m sure TRIM enjoys my insightful commentary.
Between innings, a new Adidas ad aired, part of their well publicized “All In” campaign. And that gave me a whole new avenue for criticism. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
I’m not sure what you notice about this ad, but I’ll tell you what struck me. Where are the women athletes? Oh sure, there’s lovely Katy Perry doing her thing. And perhaps one female athlete squeezed in there (I had to watch the ad a few times on Youtube to find her).* But all the other athletes in the ad are male – basketball players, skateboarders, boxers, soccer players.**
Here in the real world, I know lots of women. Many of them are athletes, but hardly any of them are famous pop singers. At running events, they are not standing on the sidelines shaking their booty. They are standing at the start line, ready to compete. They buy sports gear, and lots of it. Some of it is probably Adidas. So I have to ask you, Adidas, what world are you living in?
* To be fair, there’s a longer ad that features more women. You can see it here. But the balance is still skewed towards the Y chromosome. And most people would likely see the 30-second ad.
** And one final footnote: Adidas is not alone in more plentiful – and more empowering – portrayals of male athletes versus female athletes. Don’t even get me started on Sports Illustrated and its swimsuit edition.