Disclaimer: I am a big dog lover so I might be a little more biased than the average person. That said, I was relieved to see that others felt that a recent ad from Pearl Izumi was in as poor taste as I felt.
The ad features a runner trying to revive his dead dog. His dog died, of course, because he couldn’t keep up with his owner sporting Pearl Izumi running shoes — the distance the owner was able to run because of the shoes was just too much for the dog to bear.
The company promptly pulled the ad and then issued the obligatory apology, even referencing the fact that many Pearl Izumi employees are dog owners. And then this was all followed by the obligatory $10,000 donation to an animal shelter.
Maybe the $10,000 that went to the animal shelter as a measure of good will could have been put toward consumer testing to see if an ad this jarring would resonate positively, or negatively, with consumers? Or maybe the folks behind this ad could have even done a little hallway research with that plethora of dog owners at Pearl Izumi? I am pretty certain a little research would shown that perhaps this wasn’t the best approach for the brand.
GWH W.T.F. (Winner, Toss-up, or Flop) Award FLOP for sure.