Putting the “Ad” In “Bad”

I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t occur to me that I’d been long-time lately low on stuff to rant about. Usually I can count on reading or seeing something — a high percentage of it’s tremendously trivial — that sets me off. Whatever the trigger, maybe I’ll write a letter to the editor of some publication, maybe I’ll whine about it here. More than likely I’ll do both.

Preamble ramble done, advertisements are often great source material and today’s comes from Triumph Motorcycles’ full-pager headlined “Go Your Own Way” that I found on page 37 of the new (August) issue of Esquire magazine:


As you can see from the low-resolution image of the ad I found online, forgotten in the blurry hazy background is what I can safely assume to be a Triumph product of some sort and featured are a painfully stylish and attractive young pair of Triumph whores man and woman, he obligatorily in full leathers, but she’s doing the hip-hugger demin thing and has shed her cowhide coat to reveal her sleeveless tee — which of course, is emblazoned with the Triumph logo. It’s good to see that they’re both carrying helmets, but what one can’t really tell in the image above is that his sports a Triumph logo, leading me to believe hers does too… perhaps the dealer threw the brainbuckets and shirt in to sweeten the deal? Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hiding his own Triumph shirt beneath that jacket.

But I digress: the ad’s just stupid wrong. What are we being shown here? Sure, there’s the piece’s obvious “you’re not buying a bike, you’re buying a lifestyle” stance, but it’s lost in the literal translation of what I’m seeing: two people in a strained relationship (not holding hands and looking in different directions) walking along a roadside away from their bike that’s… what?

It’s fucking broken, that’s what! Or at best outta gas, crapping out deep up Topanga Canyon. And as girlfriend’s trying to remember where she put the number of that badass Ducati-type who hit on her last Saturday at the El Rey, nobody-walks-in-L.A. boyfriend is mucho pissed now that they gotta embarrassingly hoof it back down to PCH or at least until they get a signal on his no-doubt Triumph-branded cell phone to call his roommate over in Atwater Village and argue him into not only coming to pick them up, but also into bringing a couple half-caff soy lattes from Starbucks on the way. Ventis, dammit!

That’s some lifestyle.

See, it would be one thing if whoever had thought up this ad had given the two somewhere to go — even someone’s lame idea of what’s hip like Neptune’s Net or the Rock Store or Rae’s on Pico. It would so play better if they were walking away from the bike and toward someplace even marginally fauxthentic — hell, I’d even settle for a drug deal or a dang frusta fresca cart. But to put our unhappy hipsters out in the middle of nowhere abandoning with prejudice the very object for which Triumph is trying to garner affection…? Nuh-unh. No sale.