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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
  Pearl Izumi's got anticar religion
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

666 Satan's Energy Drink

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.

Pearl Izumi gets anti-car religion


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.

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