What Is Monster Selling?

Monster has launched a new line of sports headphones. The lead image on their site (shown above in case they change it) is… confusing, at best.

What, exactly, are they selling here?

Is this just a poor choice of marketing imagery, or something else?

Lauren and Geoff decide to ponder the finer points of Monster’s new headphone marketing.

Lauren: OK….
Geoff: I guess I really just don’t get it. It’s a new line of “sports” headphones, yet their main image doesn’t say anything “sports” to me.
Lauren: No. No, it does not. :::raises eyebrow::: I’m getting a feeling this is tied to the Monster press conference at CES. You know, with all the models walking the catwalk wearing headphones? Attached to nothing? And where I learned all about the height, dating status, and how much Shaq liked one of the models, but nothing about the small Bluetooth speaker he was holding other than “size matters?”
Geoff: Easy… go to your happy place. Breathe…
Lauren: Okay. I’m there. Deep breath in... and out. Sorry. I’m back.

Geoff: And why is she wearing a wedding ring? Isn’t marketing supposed to be aspirational? I mean besides her whole “get away from me” vibe, implying she’s married seems an odd choice.
Lauren: I don’t think it’s a wedding ring, unless it’s an alternative sapphire wedding ring, but either way, I think it’s to show she has lots of the moneys and blings. And she is so uninterested in you, by looking away, it implies that she’s super cool.
Geoff: Yep, nothing I find cooler than the disaffected stare of a woman who won't talk to me. Gee, makes me want those headphones as much as the same attitude makes me not want to shop at Abercrombie.

Geoff: That is the strangest bathing suit I have ever seen.
Lauren: I don’t think you’re supposed to bathe in it.
Geoff: Not to get into a semantic argument, but then is it still a bathing suit?
Lauren: They call them that, but I’d more call them a “poolside suit” or a “sunning” suit. Either way, not very practical or sporty.

Geoff: OK, there’s just all sorts of conflict here. She’s wearing a unbathing suit… and a jacket? Is it cold? Where was she going that she’d need a jacket like that… and that bathing suit.
Lauren: Well, to be fair, lots of folks wear cover ups on the way to the beach or pool. But she can’t wear these headphones to swim! So why is this featured? Unless she is planning on bringing back the 80s leotard look? You think that’s it?
Geoff: I’d look great in a leopard-print leotard PICTURE IT. YOU CAN’T NOT PICTURE IT.
Lauren: :::shrieking::: OMG BLEACH MY BRAIN!

Geoff: Oh, right, the headphones. I don’t sports, but if I was running from something I don’t think I’d want giant cans on my head.
Lauren: Maybe if you’re just lifting… but, she doesn’t strike me as someone about to hit the free weights.
Geoff: I set you up perfectly for a "cans" joke and you just… I don’t even know who you are anymore.
Lauren: There is too much rage in my heart for laughter now.
Geoff: I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused.

Geoff: You go to the gyms, right? I don’t know what you do there, but is hair like this normal? I have literally no basis of knowledge about anything in that question.
Lauren: Only if you’re going to be seen and photographed by the paparazzi there. Otherwise, this look will last her approximately 5 minutes in a real workout. Everything will melt and she’ll look like a sad, wet 1950s clown.
Geoff: So, if I buy iSport headphones, I too can look like a sad, wet 1950s clown at the gym? This is a selling point.

Geoff: And now I can’t stop picturing a gym full of sad, wet, 1950’s clowns... AND ME IN MY LEOPARD LEOTARD.
Lauren: GAH!!!

Geoff: The only other photo on the main page is a guy who looks like he just came in from the rain.
Lauren: At least with him, I buy that he’s going to the gym.
Geoff: He’s got a Mona Lisa thing happening. Is he mad? Is he about to smile? Seriously, why is he wet?
Lauren: He is gaping into the depths of my eternal soul. And… sweating. Or, freshly showered while dressed.
Geoff: I got it! The woman at the top is looking at this guy!
Lauren: Her expression is of that of someone who just “smelt it.” Has he… “dealt it?”
Geoff: Maybe she’s wondering why he’s all wet too. At least those headphones are “Water resistant, sweat-proof, and cleanable for everyday use.”
Lauren: Based on what I’ve seen some people do at the gym, I want them to be Lysol-proof and flame retardant, too.
Geoff: Eww.

Lauren: For the record, any of the people from the center video would have been a far better choice as a lead visual, IMHO. I like to see products being used, showing off their practicality rather than relying on played-out sexist tropes. But, I suppose this is why I’m not in marketing, and have to resort to confronting sexism with fart jokes.
Geoff: Be fair, everything should be confronted with fart jokes.

dnoonie's picture

LOL, thanks!

DaleC's picture

Who buys this product?

Would that demographic be attracted by a good looking woman?

Would that demographic even notice, much less give a damn about, her illogical attire?

Would this ad plant in their minds "isport=hot chick = good"?

Would ANY ad campaign entice YOU to purchase this product?

You're welcome.

Bob Ankosko's picture
We get it. Lighten up, Dale! We also get how terrible in a what-were-you-thinking-sort of-way that image is. You do have a point with your last question, though: Would ANY ad campaign entice YOU to purchase this product?
dnoonie's picture

I run, I hike, I workout

I run on the street so I will not wear headphones it's too dangerous, I want to hear my surroundings, although I see other runners wearing them, quit a few actually > 50%.

When I hike I want to hear the wildlife and my friends, so I won't be wearing headphones, most other people don't either, < 25%.

When I workout I have Pandora playing on the stereo in the back ground, so I won't be wearing headphones, no one else in my garage.

When I used to go to the gym (about 15 years of gym workouts) a good number of people used headphones...at least to start out with, then once the fantasy wore off many left them at home or only wore them for the cardio part of their workout...most people left all together and didn't come back.

Gym workouts and headphones aren't as practical as you might think, keeping track of your stuff is a pain and most people that stick around long enough figure out how to minimize what they bring.

Actually there were a few women (one or two on busy evenings) at the gym that were overly made up and stylish (like the model), but I never talked to them, I thought they were "working" and I wasn't interested although I saw them walk out with other guys.

Geoffrey Morrison's picture
@DaleC That wooooshing sound is the point, flying past you, as you so spectacularly miss it.
DaleC's picture

Geoffrey - You mean besides two elitists pontificating about marketing?

Or were they being sarcastic?


Or is the point that the article was out-of-date with the website?

Please, educate me.

DaleC's picture

Did I miss the point? Or did the "reviewers"? Which was MY point.

Seriously, illuminate the darkness in which I exist with your brilliance.

pw's picture

You see male executives picked this illogical advert. Most US Execs are male, older, and think with their "littlehead". Har har.