It’s a big race weekend in the runDisney community. Most would say the BIGGEST race weekend of all as the Walt Disney World Marathon happens on Sunday.
Many friends are there or are on their way. My newsfeed and running groups were filled with two big things, both related to New Balance shoes.
One elicited joy and excitement:The other one did not.
It elicited concerns of elitism, not to mention a complete 180-degree turn from the majority of runners in the runDisney culture.
I often wonder…
What the HELL are these companies thinking? Are they so vast that divisions aren’t aware of each other? Or so narrowly minded to think that their consumers won’t notice the mixed messages? Maybe they thought that runDisney consumers don’t go on their website since the only way you can buy cute Ariel inspired shoes is at the expos?
However you want to spin it, it’s dumb from a PR and marketing perspective.
The ad itself isn’t even the big problem for me. Though, to be clear, I don’t like it, but I won’t say it’s entirely wrong. There are plenty of runners with that attitude. I see it every day. Different strokes; I’m not wired that way.
While I think this type of shame marketing is a bunch of crap, hey, if that’s the message a brand wants to share, that’s fine. I can choose not to support them. Huzzah!
It looks like I’m not alone, though. Plenty of people chimed in on the New Balance Facebook page.
Here are a few of the responses:
You got caught trying to double dip here, New Balance. You can’t court the new runner who maybe hasn’t even competed yet while calling them out behind their backs.
Releasing shoes with a $140 price tag at the runDisney expo to the very people you are now demeaning is cold, yo.
To their credit, New Balance made changes. While I didn’t see direct responses to concerns on Facebook, I did see this replacement ad on the website this morning.
There you go, New Balance.
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguiltlife.com and noguiltfangirl.com