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K2 Alliance Ad misleading?

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
After having a crazy day, was looking forward to the Freeskier Buyers Guide that had arrived in the mail....
Got to page 5 and thought - WTF. Someone really f*cked up in the marketing department. Or maybe its just me?

But how can this not be perceived as Stereotypical and Sexist?
A full page ad of a GUY radically skiing on the "Mindbender"​
and on the next page​
A full page is devoted to a GIRL IRONING wax on a ski, with a tiny shadowed picture of her? skiing (with her head covered up by the Words "Mindbenders 115c Alliance.") and another shadow image covered by the IRONING picture -​
so its more important to show a female ironing than skiing?​

I don't think this supports female empowerment on and off the mountain - or maybe it does in K2's marketing mind.... well some one has to wax the skis.... might as well be the "girl"....

mindbender.jpg
Next page:

alliance.jpg


For 20 years, the K2 Alliance has been at the forefront of the women’s movement in the outdoor sports industry, supporting the innovation of women’s products and female empowerment on and off the mountain.​
No, not empowering at all. Sorry K2 you really missed the target and probably pissed off more women than just me. I have to hope that someone will be let go for this decision - what a joke.​
 
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WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
@Bookworm
Petty sure It’s a guy. Look at the face
One page for Mindbender. (Men’s /unisex)
One page Mindbender “Alliance” (woman’s ski)

and I'm pretty sure thats a real iron? Doesn't look like a standard ski wax iron.
 
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BeSki

Certified Ski Diva
#4
Wow! Haven't posted here for a long time...

I so AM the target audience for the Mindbender Alliance series. Designed BY women FOR women. As a gearhound, I have been reading (and dreaming) about these skis, specifically the Mindbender 88, for months. From what I have read, the tail design was built for women and duplicated for the men's versions because the design worked so well...a ski that was "blued", not "pinked". (Credit to Slim on Pugski) So, clearly a true women's ski. Ironically, my local ski shop is only carrying them in two women's sizes, so I will have to buy the men's/unisex version to get the 170. But that's okay...the men's version IS the women's version ;-)

When I see that ad, I see a woman like ME, a woman who is passionate about skiing, who tunes and waxes her own skis (all 8 or 9 pairs in my quiver) because I want the most out of my skis. I don't feel that ironing skis is women's work at all! On the contrary, most shop guys I talk to are impressed that I can tune and wax my own skis. Very few women do, or choose to. Who is this ad for? For women who are into maintaining their own equipment. Serious skiers. Engaged skiers. Passionate skiers.

Not that it matters, but that looks like a ski iron to me. I use a tiny iron when I travel so that I can wax our skis on the road. K2girl has a better iron than I do ;-)

When I look at that ad, I see seriousness and intensity and concentration and seeking of perfection and dedication on her face as she waxes her skis. I don't huck cliffs, I don't race. But I am a motivated skier who sees empowerment in skillfully maintaining my own equipment. I have never been inspired to buy a pair (of the 40+ pairs that I have owned) by seeing a man OR a woman going down super steeps or over cliffs. As a frequent buyer of skis (at least one or two new pairs a season), I research, I read reviews, I seek other women's opinions and I demo as much as possible. The process and anticipation of getting new skis is almost (!) as pleasurable as skiing them.

I haven't seen the ad IRL, but from what I can make out from the page posted, the red statements on the left of the ad are supportive of women both from the "by women for women" point of view and "Built to Blast". The men's ad to me just appeals to the physical/ego aspect of skiing, but the women's ad engages my brain as well. Ooooh...reminds me it's almost time to scrape off that summer wax and get me to a K2 dealer ;-)

Who is this ad for? ME!
 
#5
Yeah, looks like a real iron. I can’t make out any identifying characteristics in the shadow photos. I’m not sure what the message is. “Our women Of the K2 Alliance are the real deal, tuning their own skis?” Or what.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
So remember the context - this is Freeskier magazine Gear Guide: big skis, big lines, big air, + back country. Women and Men testers are profiled, 17 women out of 49 testers. Mens and women's gear, although a smaller ski review selection for women (well b/c most skis are unisex).

In contrast to K2, the next two page ad is Backcountry's - where a girl appears to be breaking trail. Nordica's 2 page ad feature a man skiing front side and on the next page a female hucking an air in the trees. Sorry I'm more empowered by the other ad's then "ironing."

@newboots it says "We could take the time to tell you about how rad these skis really are. About the years spent working with the women of the K2 Alliance to bring this freak of a ski to market. But the testers over at Freeskier weren't into it. I guess they just don't like having fun as much as we do. Introducing the K2 Mindbener 115c Alliance: Built to Blast."

If it was built to blast, why are the pictures of the girl skiing shadowed?

@BeSki yes as you state some of the technology for women was transferred to the mens ski. Its great that you do your own tuning, but I find it kind of sad that the shop guys are impressed you can do something they can, as if it were rocket science. Most dedicated athletes take care of their own equipment no mater what sport. And yes the Mindbenders are on my list to demo as well but the 106C or the 108ti which is what this magazine targets - (although they do review narrow skis as well starting with 85-99 Freeride skis). I understand your point of view and appreciate that you see the ad as a "dedicated" skier, but I am looking to see someone skiing the ski I'm interested in, not maintaining it - the marketing team could have chosen not to cover up the skiing images but they didn't.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
Looks like a regular iron to me. I looked online for wax irons with this shape and couldn't find anything close. But people do use these sometimes. Can anyone decode the writing on it?

Do you hold your iron across the ski surface like this woman is when you wax? I don't. I point it the way the ski is pointed to use the entire hot surface, moving the iron back and forth along the length of the ski.
It looks like she's in a ski shop, and she's wearing an apron to make it look like she does this all the time. I'm not convinced.
Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 10.46.55 AM.png
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I agree with @WaterGirl about the image of the skier being covered up and hard to see. Sexism comes in so many versions. Often the perpetrators have good intentions and don't realize they are being sexist because it happens unconsciously. That makes it very hard to eliminate, unless we call them on it.
 
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Susan L

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I thought the marketing was brilliant! It got your attention and more - you shared it in a forum and had women talking about it. That’s what marketing is about. It’s better than having people flip the pages without even giving it a thought. I don’t find the ad sexist or stereotypical, just that tuning your board/skis is not as glamorous as it portrays - if I can look as good, maybe I will tune my equipment more often...
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
^^^
@Susan L touché about the marketing,
but I don't understand your comment about "look as good" - aren't you buying into a pretty girl concept?
 
#11
I tend not to be easily bothered by anything like this in general, and if I were flipping through a ski magazine it honestly wouldn’t stand out to me. I can’t even tell in the pictures what sex the skiers are.. Even looking at it further through this thread my thought was more like cool that’s what I do as well. I wax my skis and find it quite enjoyable to do so, and then I go ski on them. I just think there are so many different people looking at any given ad and it’ll never be the same thing to everyone. Each person is coming at it from a different point of view which determines whether you feel good, bad, or indifferent about it.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
This doesn't bother or offend me in the least. I honestly don't really look at paper ski ads much anyhow, so I probably would have flipped on past this without a second glance because pictures aren't going to tell me much of anything about a ski, anyhow. But, at least in my house, my husband is the tuner and waxer of skis. I'm sure I could learn, but he does it so I frankly haven't bothered to learn myself. So I don't see ski waxing as an inherently female thing to do. I do think if that's a regular iron that's a bit weird, but otherwise... eh.
 
#14
I agree with @WaterGirl about the image of the skier being covered up and hard to see. Sexism comes in so many versions. Often the perpetrators have good intentions and don't realize they are being sexist because it happens unconsciously. That makes it very hard to eliminate, unless we call them on it.
I am going to play devil’s advocate. ;-). If the ad clearly showed the skier as a woman, tall and thin, with long blonde air flowing from beneath her helmet, with tight black Kjus pants or something, and boobs showing from beneath her form-fitting jacket, then somewhere, a woman would say, “Geez. Why do all woman skiers have to be portrayed as Barbie on skis?”
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#15
I like it too. I agree with Beski. There are not that many women that I know (except this forum) that wax or even look after their own skis. Most either let your man or the shop deal with it. She has a shop apron on etc. I can't read the print on the side, but I'll check my Ski Canada that just arrived and see if the same ad is in there.

Marketing to it's finest as Susan L states. We're talking about it. Name is up front.

As for the iron...reduce, reuse, recycle. My waxing iron is a bit smaller and square. And I point it in any direction to melt and spread the damn stuff.
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
Wow! Haven't posted here for a long time...

I so AM the target audience for the Mindbender Alliance series. Designed BY women FOR women. As a gearhound, I have been reading (and dreaming) about these skis, specifically the Mindbender 88, for months. From what I have read, the tail design was built for women and duplicated for the men's versions because the design worked so well...a ski that was "blued", not "pinked". (Credit to Slim on Pugski) So, clearly a true women's ski. Ironically, my local ski shop is only carrying them in two women's sizes, so I will have to buy the men's/unisex version to get the 170. But that's okay...the men's version IS the women's version ;-)

When I see that ad, I see a woman like ME, a woman who is passionate about skiing, who tunes and waxes her own skis (all 8 or 9 pairs in my quiver) because I want the most out of my skis. I don't feel that ironing skis is women's work at all! On the contrary, most shop guys I talk to are impressed that I can tune and wax my own skis. Very few women do, or choose to. Who is this ad for? For women who are into maintaining their own equipment. Serious skiers. Engaged skiers. Passionate skiers.

Not that it matters, but that looks like a ski iron to me. I use a tiny iron when I travel so that I can wax our skis on the road. K2girl has a better iron than I do ;-)

When I look at that ad, I see seriousness and intensity and concentration and seeking of perfection and dedication on her face as she waxes her skis. I don't huck cliffs, I don't race. But I am a motivated skier who sees empowerment in skillfully maintaining my own equipment. I have never been inspired to buy a pair (of the 40+ pairs that I have owned) by seeing a man OR a woman going down super steeps or over cliffs. As a frequent buyer of skis (at least one or two new pairs a season), I research, I read reviews, I seek other women's opinions and I demo as much as possible. The process and anticipation of getting new skis is almost (!) as pleasurable as skiing them.

I haven't seen the ad IRL, but from what I can make out from the page posted, the red statements on the left of the ad are supportive of women both from the "by women for women" point of view and "Built to Blast". The men's ad to me just appeals to the physical/ego aspect of skiing, but the women's ad engages my brain as well. Ooooh...reminds me it's almost time to scrape off that summer wax and get me to a K2 dealer ;-)

Who is this ad for? ME!
I have to agree with you. I just don't see the sexism in a woman taking care of her own skis.
I feel like they're showing a woman taking ownership in her whole ski experience from prepping her powder skis for a wicked good day.

RE: Mindbender 88 Ti, I have it in a 170 and it definitely feels differently than the men's versions which is actually the 90. You should find the 170 in the 88 if you can.
 

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