Has anybody else noticed Pearl Izumi’s recent anti-car fervor? I present two items of evidence. Exhibit 1 is their “PETROLEUM: Satan’s Energy Drink” at their Interbike booth last September, complete with “$6.66” for the price of gas. You can’t see it in this photo, but “Satan’s Energy Drink” is in huge letters at the bottom of the gas pump.
Exhibit 2 is a Pearl Izumi poster in a recent issue of Road magazine. Most people possibly didn’t notice it because the flip side is a pinup featuring a scantily clad woman that I definitely would not be permitted to hang in my harassment-free work place, but one side features a pile of crushed cars with “AMEN” in huge bold letters.
I like the marketing, but it just seems odd to me. I don’t perceive Pearl Izumi’s target market to be the car-free crowd. They sell excellent technical cycling gear (of which I own and use several items), but the typical “cars r coffins” folks generally wear street clothes, while somebody wearing a pair of $200 Pearl Izumi bibs, $180 PI Octane jersey, $20 PI microsensor skullcap, $25 arm warmers and leg warmers and $50 PI gloves probably is also the demographic for all of them SUV ads in Bicycling magazine.
My perception: A company like Clif, which has a history of corporate responsibility and involvement, has a genuine message. I could be wrong, but Pearl Izumi’s campaign strikes me as somebody who’s jumping in on a fad and doing “green” marketing because it’s the in thing.