A New Ad – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

If you’re looking for my Green Lakes Race Report, scroll down or click here.

Udo’s Oil is one of my favorite products. While I generally eat a low-fat diet and suggest others do the same, I’ve had noticeable benefits (faster recovery, less soreness, less joint pain) while taking a daily tablespoon or two.

Anyhow, Udo’s Oil just came out with a new ad:


This has stirred up a little controversy on the web (is anything not controversial on the web?!). While it can be difficult to distinguish troll from human, comments have included:

– Worst Ad Ever. Absolutely Terrible.
– Such a horrible marketing decision.
– Men = Athletes but Women = Sex Objects
– Looking fierce and fabulous!
– If this drink turns three signature heroines of the trail into grumpy, irritated, short-tempered looking shrews, who needs it?
– I’d like to see one of the pictures with your guys smiling.

Here is another Flora ad that has been running (no pun intended) for a bit in several publications:


For what it’s worth, Frosty chimed in on the discussion regarding the new ad:

We decided on this idea/picture. And we all love it! We also love running, but it doesn’t define who we are! We all wear dresses and use Flora products each and everyday because they make us feel good not just in running. We had fun! This ad celebrates the brand’s diversity, as well as feminism, even as runners.

(For what it’s worth, I think she meant femininity, not feminism, although I could be wrong)

What do you think? Sexist ad? Sexist comments? Both? Neither?

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8 Responses to A New Ad – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

  1. txa1265 says:

    I think that given the history of advertising and status of women, it is very easy to look at the ads as sexist and objectifying and delivering a crappy message. I don’t know what is right – but I DO agree with the numerous articles stating that ““The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop”” (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tosca-reno/bikini-fitness_b_5610782.html?just_reloaded=1).

    My (admittedly biased) look at the two ads (which I had never seen before, don’t know the product):
    – The women are in dresses, the men are in fitness gear and carrying what are clearly running shoes.
    – The men are identified by name and position (Flora Ambassador), the women have flowery signatures only – again, no fitness context.
    – Men are on a trail. women are in a ‘field’ … and use of pretty women in dresses in a field is definitely a trope/cliché.
    – Without already knowing, HOW are we supposed to identify the women as runners as opposed to just thin and beautiful women?

    At the same time a single thing could establish context to change everything: have the women carrying or wearing trail shoes.

    But at the same time … I agree with you that the general outrage generated by, well, everything is out of proportion. I’m sure somewhere there is mass-anger and a petition to boycott the product. Sometimes I feel that the outsized reactions to minor stuff is more of a problem than the original item itself! 🙂

    Basically I think all six people look awesome … but that Flora needs to think more about the intended and unintended messages sent by its campaigns in the future. As do we all need to think about what we write and say and do … not in the name of ‘being PC’ – but of helping others seek their best self.

  2. KelsieLou says:

    Neither of the ads come off as sexist. Women have complained so long about fitness products being geared towards or catered towards men. Here is a company who is using female athletes in cute LBDs to advertise. People are over thinking this one. Heck, I have a Nike running dress that closely remsembles what these women are wearing.
    Now I need to check out this product. I’ve never heard of it until now.

  3. wanderwolf says:

    I don’t know. I love the add for the guys… and I don’t think the ads themselves are sexist. The comments definitely seem that way though.

  4. Ellie says:

    I like the ad. I know I like to feel pretty even if my job does not permit dresses or fancy clothes. Just because a woman is good at running trails doesn’t mean that’s her whole life and she lives in compression socks.

  5. Personally I’d rather they were in sports kit- the black dresses just strike me as a bit out of context given that they’re sportswomen. Can’t decide if it’s sexist!

  6. Joey says:

    All of them look better in running clothes! I prefer my ladies to look outdoorsy instead of materialistic. Just my opinion though…

  7. I don’t know, to me when an athlete is promoting a product, I like to see how they incorporate it in their life. If it’s compression socks, sure a picture of he or she running in them is great. But what does taking oil have to do with being dressed up in the middle of a field? Seems cheesy to me.
    That said, the guy ad doesn’t bother me as much- it just kind of makes me laugh because they look a little silly strutting along barefoot on a trail.

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