Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm not the Morals Police....

....But I do have a problem with the new "Playmate" snowboards recently introduced by Burton.

Now, I know I'm not the intended audience here. First of all, I'm not a boarder. And second, to be blunt about it, I'm no kid, either. And though I do believe that yes, the body is beautiful and yes, we should encourage artistic freedom of expression (the umbrella that Burton is hiding under), I don't think these boards were rolled out in celebration of either of these things.

My feeling is that these images are merely a shrewdly calculated marketing device designed to capture a particular market segment -- in this case, adolescent boys -- to whom graphics of naked women are very appealing. Instead, what they actually do is objectify women as sex objects -- something we've been trying to move beyond for decades -- as well as alienate a very large segment of the population.

I think Burton tries very hard to market itself as an "edgy" company. It does a lot of stuff purely for shock value. Face it, there's a certain element that likes to buy stuff because 1) it either ticks people off, or 2) it makes people do a double take. Plus it gets Burton a lot of exposure, like when they encouraged boarders to poach skiing-only resorts last year.

This type of marketing is what you do when you're completely out of ideas. The oldest trick is the book is to show an image of a naked lady. It's Neanderthal, it's juvenile, and it's just plain dumb. I think Burton should know better than that, and I'm incredibly disappointed that they don't.

Be sure to visit, the online home especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am not impressed with Burton's new designs. They are strictly using the "sex sells" to make money. I guess they aren't creative enough to come up with their own design.