Thursday, December 20, 2012

Business in BJJ: The Mata Leon Video

Unlike some previous controversies in the world of BJJ and sex, I'm willing to post this media because, well, the sex is the icing on the cake (as opposed to the cake itself) and there's actual jiu jitsu involved.

Straight out of the box...nice to see people putting effort into production. The action's better than most of the campy sci-fi movies I blow my Saturday afternoons on, but still strikes me as a little cliche. Overall though, this one left me with mixed feelings. Yes, it's a definite step up from a greezy chick in a tank top, but unlike the Rousey/Tate promo, I wouldn't give it credit for smart, or even inoffensive use of sex to push a product.

Confused customers: I thought this was an ad for women's gis--that is until I went to Mata Leon's site and saw that they didn't have products for women. I ran this past a couple of guy friends and one put it quite succinctly..."I don't want to buy clothes that a chick I want to nail would wear." So the woman who might want the gi can't get a product, and the guy who was the target audience, doesn't think the product advertised was for him. I'm guessing they just assumed the men watching the ad think gis can only be worn by men.

Sexy Overload: I will sing this from the rafters, sex selling is not a law of physics. Overt sex has been proven to be distracting. Using anything too visceral in advertising is a risky game...humor, disgust, creep-factor...hit people too hard in these areas and they get distracted. Distracted customers don't remember brands when it's time to shop. I initially watched this video and went about my business. Five minutes later, I remember the woman's haircut, the shower sink, the apartment layout, but not the company that was trying to sell me something.

Questionable Business Practices: It takes a good bit of effort to connect with your customers in an ad, and there was one image of the brand name and more detailed looks at the woman's rear than the product, which is a shame. I love the idea of good companies making a good product, trying new things and succeeding. I want to see people finding ways to make a living doing things they love and supporting the communities they're connected with. Ads like this, I think are a genuine effort to do business better, but they likely jeopardized their own effectiveness in an effort to get attention.

So yeah...all that said, I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe this is what progress looks like. Yes, the ad fails the gender-replacement test (f there'd been a dripping wet man in that shower and a close up on a pair of boxer-briefs being pulled up, well, you get the idea.), but cultures just don't make big jumps and perhaps a well-made commercial with bits of sexualization is a step in the right direction...maybe. 


gracefullysony said...

One thing about this video is that it's cool. That said, sad thing is the objectification present of women. I find it odd as you mentioned that it appears to be selling for women, but the objectification targets men, though they don't realize because it's cool. A girl kicking some major ass isn't going to make men want to buy that gi... it would make a curious woman want to go to their site to see what they're about... but I did the same thing, I went to their site and was surprised that they had nothing for women. It's odd advertisement, that much I can say.

What do you think about the objectification?

Anonymous said...

Was cool with the add, but found out they call their GI "the Gentleman"; major turn off -
Big Chick

Shark Girl said...

Yeah, interesting. This ad seems more directed at women, despite its bare-haunched peep show.

Let's not tell the company--they might come back and do something really offensive.

Megan said...

Lol@ "bare haunched"

Brendan said...

Great article, Meg! I think the great point about entertaining ads is totally relevant. It reminds of that 'hump day' ad recently. On wednesday, everybody was walking around the office yelling hump day like the camel did but i asked every single one and NOBODY knew what that commercial was for.

Megan said...

@Brendan...riiiiiight. It's not just a sex question. Not a fan of that, but another question is whether or not it works.