Fosbury Flops

I'm sure we're not the only ones to have noticed Dick Fosbury being used to advertise two very different products in a very similar way.

I've no idea which commercial came first but, putting aside the ridiculousness of agencies not doing their homework to find out whether Fosbury was going to be gainfully and simultaneously employed in any other marketing campaign, I think both ads demonstrate lazy thinking.

It's this depressing "advertising by association" trend which, instead of finding something meaningful and motivating to say about a product, seeks to align a brand with the intrinsic values of something or somebody else often totally unrelated to their core business.

In this instance, Fosbury's pioneering method of jumping over a bar onto a mattress is being used to draw a [lame] parallel with the offerings of Wuaki and Mazda. The ads rely on a detailed voiceover to spell out what they want people to take out from the communication and the products end up being a mere bolt on at the end. It's easy for me to say that this kind of generic approach can be taken for any brand, especially as two companies have already done this.

Pardon the pun, but in both cases, this is not a great leap to take. By making these associations it's painfully apparent that Wuaki and Mazda desperately want us to think that they too are revolutionary.

If they had bothered to focus the communication on informing people about why they might be revolutionary rather than just saying that "we're also revolutionary/rule changing" then I might be arsed to think about their products differently.

Instead, the ads feel like a bit of indulgent, self-congratulatory, trumpet blowing.

The only person I can see benefiting from these campaigns in the long run is Dick Fosbury who undoubtedly got a very comfy landing on a mattress full of cash.


  1. Couldn't agree more. Next thing you'll see is people quoting Steve Jobs' respectively Apples's Think Different and that they too, think different at their company. Amen to that.

  2. Yes indeed these ads make you think in my opinion more about Dick Frosby and high jumping than anything else.

    In fact they now put a face to name, I'd have never known what he looked like without that these ads despite being aware of his achievements. I don't suppose that was their purpose was it?


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