Reebok Easytones: “They’re Really Uncomfortable!”
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!
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.