Copyranter posted this image from the German launch of the Reebok Easy Tones, better known as the "make your breasts jealous" shoes. But Reebok execs aren't trying to sell you their shoes - they hope you purchase the fantasy you.
Margaret and Hortense already did a great job of deconstructing the sexism inherent in the marketing campaigns surrounding the shoe. Additionally, it is not yet known if these shoes will catch on - after all, they came to market six months after Skecher's Shape-ups, and there are hundreds of off-brands advertising similar functionality. One forum even recommended readers go to K-Mart for a $39.99 knock off.
And why not? As the Wall Street Journal points out, the benefits of the Easy Tones are a bit difficult to prove:
Reebok commissioned a study from the University of Delaware, which tested five women on a treadmill with electronic sensors on their muscles. Electrical activity in the butt muscles-representing muscle movement-was 28% greater for the EasyTone shoes than for a typical Reebok walking shoe used as a control. Electrical activity was 11% greater for the hamstring and calf muscles while wearing the EasyTones.
The test involved only 500 steps, and Reebok acknowledges that the effect may diminish as wearers get used to the shoes.
Reebok knows damn well these shoes are one part science to ten parts hype. So the company counts on consumers doing the work for them. By providing close ups of super toned legs (and other discombobulated body parts) they are hoping that consumers will overlook the strange design and focus in on some other goal that actually has nothing to do with the shoes. Marketers know this well - if they can sell someone the potential situation, they can sell the product. So Cîroc gets Diddy to play at being Frank Sinatra, hoping that Diddy fans will want to emulate his life by buying their vodka. Clothing companies fought to get their wares on television shows like Sex and The City, watching as Manolo Blanik and Jimmy Choo stayed on the lips of women hoping to buy their way to the lifestyle pictured on television, and Reebok hopes that users look at toned glutes and reach for their wallets.