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Reebok Easytones: “They’re Really Uncomfortable!”

24th January, 2010

The Reebok Easytones.

Possibly mankind’s biggest mystery! (Umm, I’m being sexist here)

Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I’ve tried to unearth a little bit about this. My first post (Reebok Can Tone Your Butt) was inspired by a rather un-inspiring advertisement for this shoe. I went on to take a short interview of my friend (Follow Up: Why Did You Try Reebok’s Easytone?), attempting to learn a little bit more of the female psyche.

(Do note, I now know that I will never know the female psyche.)

That brings me to this post: An interview with Vanessa, a 20-something Delhi-ite who had an interesting experience with the Reebok Easytones. Excerpts:

Me: Okay, first question: Where did you first hear of the Easytones?

Vanessa: I actually didn’t hear about them, but saw the ad outside the Reebok store at CP [New Delhi]. And I kept staring at it! You know a sales guy approached me too! He kept pestering me to try the shoes and I finally gave in. Two or three of them then surrounded me with survey papers!

Me: So then you tried the shoes?

Vanessa: Oh I did. I wore the first pair, and they were so bloody uncomfortable! It was like gripping my toes and pulling them down. I couldn’t walk properly you know!

Me: Hehe! Well the idea is that it makes your foot unstable, so that your muscles work harder in balancing your body.

Vanessa: Why would anyone put themselves through this?

Then I asked him the price, to which he said it was around Rs. 6000. Dude! Why would I spend 6000 for a pair of shoes when I won’t even wear them! In Delhi, wearing shoes is not so “chic” you know. You’ll rather wear boots or heels or sandals. You don’t wear shoes if you want to go out! Even if you do its those urban Converse ones.

I told the sales person that I don’t want to buy it.

Me: Ouch! That would have hurt his ego!

Vanessa: Oh he said he’ll get me another pair. That was a little better, slight difference. It was a little cheaper than the first one. Maybe thats the idea: the more it irritates you the more expensive it gets!

He then went on to explain how much body mass it will reduce in my thigh area and hip area. They have actual percentages for it. He finally asked me to fill up the survey form, and asked if I would ever purchase these! I said of course not! I won’t walk even a kilometer in these! I’d rather spend half the money and hit the gym.

Me: Haha! Okay, so lets switch gears. Tell me something about the ad you saw, outside the shop. What made you stop right there?

Vanessa: Its just the “asstounding” thing that hits you. It hit the right chord. You know women, that’s all they care about: an easy way to lose weight. That’s exactly what they’re saying, right in the name of the shoe: easy-tone!

An interesting concept, its just that it didn’t go down well with me!

Me: Anything about the ad in particular?

Vanessa: Oh that female in the ad, she really didn’t need those shoes. Shes perfect the way she is. I’m sure she didn’t even use these shoes to tone her butt. They had to put a half-naked chick with her ass showing, huh?

Me: Haha! I found it rather offensive, you know! Okay, one more question. When you wore those shoes, did you feel any brand connection? Were you proud of wearing them?

Vanessa: I’m not a very brand conscious person. Everything I get is from the streets and my mother hates me for that. But I would have looked at it practically, I would have felt proud of the fact that it helped me.

It’s a nice idea, as a girl I’ll tell you its a nice idea! Forget girls, even an aunty bought it. One of my mothers friends was telling me that she got those shoes. Even aunties are interested!

Me: Really? Thats good news for Reebok! Acha tell me, do you think Nike and other competitors have lost out?

Vanessa: They’re not doing enough to come up with something competitive. But its not like they’re going to lose out on their sales. The target segment is a very small portion of their overall market, this loss can’t over-power their overall sales.

But its a catchy ad, and people would go to the store and buy those shoes. Reebok did come into the limelight because of this!

Me: Well thats it, thanks so much for taking out time for this interview!

After-thoughts

So it turns out that Vanessa found the shoes really uncomfortable. But she didn’t doubt the fact that these shoes indeed do what they’re advertised to do (I would attribute that to the trust in the Reebok brand). But there were some interesting tidbits:

Forget girls, even an aunty bought it. One of my mothers friends was telling me that she got those shoes. Even aunties are interested!

There’s a market segment that was really untouched in the advertising campaign. (Or wait, was it?)

And so my journey continues: to become the Sherlock Holmes of the mystery that is the Reebok Easytone.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 24th January, 2010 1:29 PM

    Dude.. if all this is fabricated, then you are so screwed.. But on the hindsight, a masterpiece on the way women think about shopping in general.. Although you did rightly point out that we, as guys, shall never be able to understand the female psyche..!!

    • 25th January, 2010 10:21 AM

      its not fabricated man .. i have got the required “Disclosure Agreement” and Form 12A duly stamped and notarized by the respective authorities.

  2. 24th January, 2010 7:52 PM

    Dude.. That was one lengthy interview! All for a shoe?!

    • 25th January, 2010 10:22 AM

      I’m on a shoe-string budget, this is all I could do! :)

  3. 24th January, 2010 10:01 PM

    hmm a silent killer journo in the making?

    • 25th January, 2010 10:24 AM

      But I have promises to keep,
      And miles to go before I sleep,
      And miles to go before I sleep.
      :)

  4. Vanessa permalink
    25th January, 2010 2:24 AM

    Me like it!!! Boy i did talk a lot.. u were rt dude! nnn n all for a shoe .. he he he.. but good job editing i must say :) u must seriously consider a career in journalism :D

    • 25th January, 2010 11:06 AM

      Thanks a lot ji! You made it happen, after all! And since you’re the authority in interviewing shinterviewing, I shall keep bugging you for tips :) [This is a warning!]

  5. 12th August, 2010 11:00 AM

    I tell ya brands know where to strike! But I think only auntijis who aspire to get into shape by wearing shoes and not by walking are the TA!

    hard earned money on easytones? If I take 6 rounds of park will I not get fitter and look slimmer anyway??

    • 12th August, 2010 1:09 PM

      Ha! This shoe is still a mystery to me! Hopefully, one day, I will figure it out!

  6. 7th June, 2011 9:57 PM

    I filed TWO official complaints because they kept showing that crappy butt-ad on the Disney channel early in the morning. THen I signed an online petition against the super sexist American reebok ad.

    And its effects are dubious.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/health/08well.html?_r=1

    And what heck are you talking about female psyche here? It’s some dumb weight loss fad cooked up by an ex NASA engineer, that’s all. Plus if you spend 6k on a pair of shoes it might just encourage you to walk in them, and walking is exercise, anyway.

    • 9th June, 2011 7:18 AM

      Hehe! Way to go!

      Nice article you posted there – the “studies” that Reebok conducted were dubious indeed. But they’re selling like hotcakes! I’m sure buyers are aware that this study was Reebok-sponsored and has it’s riders, but there’s just so much latent demand for toning shoes that it doesn’t matter anymore!

      It’s just smart product creation :)

    • Deepika permalink
      20th July, 2011 4:49 PM

      Very nice comment . I liked it a lot and enjoyed a big laugh on the last sentence

    • 20th July, 2011 9:20 PM

      :)

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