Lets have a little reader participation, shall we? Raise your hand if you read everything you see or hear. Next, raise your hand if you only believe things you actually witness. Finally raise your hand if you just generally think most everything is BS. Being 100% honest, I fall in the latter category. After living through enough hype and marketing mumbo-jumbo for four lifetimes I tend to try and see the purpose behind the message rather than go Anti-Chuck D and “Believe the Hype.” Why? Because it’s typical that hype, buzz and word on the street to purposefully send more than one message to the audience who is often a consumer. That brings us to all this chatter about the Burton Love & Primo decks.
When I first posted images of the Love boards last year during SIA I thought they were pretty funny. Now, they’ve just become a pain in my ass. I can’t walk ten feet it seems without reading about a protest or somebody asking for my opinion. My opinion is pretty easy: “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it or buy it. Consumers, including snowboarders, can speak louder with their pocket book than your mouth these days.” But, that doesn’t cut it. Nope, somebody has to get fired up over a few not-on-display boobies.
OK, so I’m just a blargin’ hack over here on the East Coast and my opinion is one of many. I was resigned to letting this go away. Then I saw photos from the alleged Burton protest. I actually got angry over the fact that people were protesting this because the protest in itself seemed so canned and generic. the weak sauce response from Burtons CEO blah blah blah.
Are you honestly attempting to get the snowboard buying world to believe that a protest led by an angry parent group, their children and the alleged oppressed masses showed up at Burton with signs and megaphones? OK, can we just call bullshit on this whole thing? It’s starting to really smell like a cheap marketing parlor trick.
I’ll be honest from minute one I have a hard time that anybody actually found these graphics offensive in a “I must shield my eyes and I’m oppressed sort of way.” If you look back over the graphic history of snowboarding, skating and everything in-between you’ll see much worse. Believe me, I mean way fucking worse NSFW. Didn’t Sims snowboards do a series of boards with porno company Vivid? Did mock oppressed masses feel downtrodden when Tara Dakides and Gretchen Bleiler got all sorts of nude for FHM? What about the Alexis Waite spread from Maxim? As a parent of snowboarders did that offend the Burton Love and Primo refugees? Doubtful unless they were totally fucking clueless to snowboarding before hand. Lets move on and for the record … lookin’ good Alexis!
What sent me from teetering at the edge of “worth talking about” into “time for 3 am rant” was seeing my good pal Shay post up about Vail resorts and several other mountains now banning employees from using the Love and Primo decks while working. Not to mention seeing the lame ass photos from the protest at Burton. On the protest front it appears to be a kind of a joke with a half hearted attempt to be “heard.” Over on the Vail resort side it’s just totally fucking random for resort to start saying: “Nope You can’t use these.” granted some of the resorts are publicly traded companies and if an employee felt offended a class action lawsuit could be filed and nobody wants that albatross around there neck come earning time.
It just feels like we are now in week three of trying to keep this thing alive and somebody has decided to do it from the infrastructure/resort side of the business. I have to wonder at this point is somebody at Burton just snowballing this thing into free press? Was that the plan all along? Create a mock bad press through a shitty buzz agent type marketing campaign? Honestly, by now it just smells like bull shit. Parts of it don’t make sense and I wouldn’t put it past anybody these days to try some lame viral protest marketing campaign.
In case you got to this point and didn’t quite capture all that let me make it perfectly clear: The whole Burton protest and boycott of the Primo and Love decks smells rotten. I doubt there’s a third gunman on the grassy knoll here but come on. Nobody is buying this crap. Are they?