Roxy ad dumb, embarrassing: Jane Caro on the spot sparking an online firestorm

Women’s surf-wear brand Roxy has drawn criticism from social media users and social commentators after releasing a video on YouTube that looks more like soft porn than a promotion for the womens’ professional surfing contest it runs and sponsors taking place in France this month.

The spot sees a half-naked woman rolling around on a bed in nothing but her underwear. She then puts on a white linen shirt and walks around her bedroom, before letting it drop to the floor and getting in the shower. The woman’s face is never shown, as viewers are asked to guess who the featured surfer is.

Advertising guru and and social commentator Jane Caro told Marketing the spot was dull to watch and has completely missed its target audience.

“Can I say, I think if Roxy approved that ad they wouldn’t know which way was up. I don’t think that that’s a very professional piece of communication on any level, or a sophisticated piece of communication on any level.

“If I was them I would be feeling embarrassed, and I don’t think this is a smart piece of marketing at all.”

The spot is being slammed for the sexualisation of women, particularly female athletes and is being labelled as ‘sexploitation’.

“Female surfers are powerful, highly-skilled female athletes, and to control that you have to turn them all into Barbie dolls… the woman who features in that Roxy ad looks more like a barbie doll than a surfer, I think its just missing who might be interested in it,” Caro says.

Roxy’s Twitter page hasn’t made a mention of the controversy as yet, but have announced they will reveal the face of the mystery surfer tomorrow.

Marketing has attempted to contact Roxy this morning for a comment but have so far been unable to reach a spokesperson.

 

  • benjaminspowell

    What about the product placement ads for Windows 8, Windows suffice, Windows phone and HTC….

    I wonder if Roxy had to pay for that ad at all, or if they generated enough revenue from placement to actually profit from it.

  • nicknacknickers

    I agree – I was convinced it was a HTC ad for most of the ad.

  • isbelxo

    “Female surfers are powerful, highly-skilled female athletes, and to control that you have to turn them all into Barbie dolls… the woman who features in that Roxy ad looks more like a barbie doll than a surfer, I think its just missing who might be interested in it,”

    Dear Caro and Roxy,

    The brand has always targeted young female surfers wannabe, the style frivolous (since 10 years ago). What’s new?

  • Intrepiddd

    There is nothing new here. This type of marketing has been around since Noah was a boy, and engages a crucial element of engagement between the sexes – desirability. It is normal. Why do we make such a big deal about it in Australia? Other countries don’t. Jane Caro is working on the hypothesis that women don’t wish to be portrayed in this way. I think she is wrong.

  • najah

    What makes this campaign confusing is that ROXY has not clearly defined who their target audience is and what the message is that they wanted to articulate.

    If this is an ad is to empower women to surf and represent female surfers as serious athletes it has failed to do so. This ad depicts the very opposite. Roxy appear to want to convey in the story board a beautiful, confident and take control persona of female surfing that should empower women to surf and consequently showcase to the audience that this event is for women who know what they want. However the add was too sexual, to soft, and the message wasn’t strong enough.

    I really hope they didn’t spend too much money on this ad!