When you’re a child with a very active imagination, the hyperbole of advertising can be very confusing. That’s why some consumers reported a recent ad for shoe brand Skechers to the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ self-regulation mechanism for the advertising industry. The ad is misleading, making the shoes look way more fun than they are.
See, the idea behind the Skech-Air product is that the little waffles at the bottom of the shoe are soft and cushiony. This commercial turns those cushions into a simile that children would understand. “They feel like you’ve got a bunch of little trampolines on the bottom of your feet!” the voiceover says.
They represented this idea by showing a group of girls jumping on an oversized shoe as if it’s a massive trampoline. They jump straight up several feet in the air and even do backflips. Usually competitors turn misleading ads in, but in this case a consumer did. Kids don’t often complain about aching feet, and the commercial reads more like a toy ad.
The CARU’s conclusion: “[A] child could reasonably take away the implied message that wearing the shoes would allow one to bounce or jump high and recommended the advertiser discontinue the claim in future advertising.”
Skechers countered that they haven’t been airing this commercial recently, but agreed to change the ad if it’s aired again.