Pearl Izumi in a reputation mess over a dead dog ad

Pearl Izumi in a reputation mess over a dead dog ad

From the “How did you not see this coming?” file, we have a poorly thought out ad for running shoes by Pearl Izumi:

Pearl Izumi Dead Dog Ad

The ad, in case you don’t get it, is suggesting that you’ll run so far in Pearl Izumi running shoes that your dog will die.

Great ad, right?

Heck no! I know there may be a generation gap going on here–I am pushing 40–but surely no one can find this kind of ad funny.

Of course, feeling the backlash, Pearl Izumi has taken to Facebook to apologize:

Pearl Izumi apologizes

Now here’s an interesting question for you. [highlight color=”yellow”]Does this actually harm or help Pearl Izumi? Think about this one. No dogs were actually harmed, and perhaps their core target audience will find this ad amusing. In addition, when was the last time Pearl Izumi was top of mind?[/highlight]

With the apology issued, the ad pulled, and a spotlight on Pearl Izumi, we’ll have to see if this does indeed hurt their reputation.

(Hat tip Jenny & Simon)

ByAndy Beal

Andy Beal is The Original Online Reputation Expert™. A bestselling author of two critically-acclaimed reputation management books, a keynote speaker at dozens of events, and brand consultant experience with thousands of individuals and companies.

    14 Comments for “Pearl Izumi in a reputation mess over a dead dog ad”
    1. The ad is not funny mostly because its not done in a funny way….I am not saying that you can make a dead dog funny, but the way the ad is layed out and the way that the figure is positioned, it looks more like a drama than a joke……this is in poor taste and not polished. But, I have never heard of this company til now ….so, is that a good thing?

      1. You’re right Joe. It might have been received better if the ad at least looked like it was just joking. And yes, a lot of folks are now going to know who they are, but is that a good thing?

        1. To make this ad funny….they could have a profile shot of the guy running in the desert with a rope tied around his wast, tied to a wagon, where the dog is laying back lounging, with an umbrella, sunglasses, and iced tea in paw….thats cute and funny, and respects animals, while making the point that their shoes can pull the weight.

    2. Ok. I had never heard of this brand. The only offense I take is at the stupid human trick that had to happen for this ad to see the light of day. At the end of the day no one will remember this let alone hold a grudge against the brand. If this was intentional then it is almost brilliant because are talking about them. If it’s not intentional it just reds up being a lucky mist so that someone should be fired for.

      1. They may have people talking, but it’s negative talk. Pet lovers don’t forgive easily. The question is — will people buy.

    3. There is NOT a chance in H3LL I would buy a pair of these shoes now !!! How cruel and inconsiderate of this company…this ad is NOT funny by any means ! I hope once everyone passes this ad around Facebook this company is Out of Business !!!

    4. Never heard of that brand, and would never buy them if they cost a penny after that ad.
      People are SO STUPID! Why would they put an ad like this up in the first place? Because they just dont think or use their brains.
      I have taken care of distressed and overheated dogs(and children), and its not funny, its darn sad and some actually do die.
      That dog looks just like our dog, so lets take the guy who wrote the ad, on a run behind my bicycle and see how he does!
      Hope that company goes under.

      1. I’m also a dog owner and lover, and this ad does not strike me as amusing in the least. I’m hoping that they’re learning that shock value isn’t always worth it.

    5. I had never heard of this brand, either. There were many comments though from those who have used their products and like them. Along with those were quite a few saying they won’t anymore -along with Canadian Running magazine.

      It’s debatable and time will tell whether in time, the public will forget it. Dog owners, animal lovers don’t forget easily, though. They may have gained attention, but this is the type that might backfire on them. Time will tell.

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