I was recently perusing the April 2013 edition of Peloton magazine when I happened upon your new ad.
Now, I firmly believe that when a company does something right, they ought to hear about it. They deserve our praise and respect. And that’s why I’m writing to you today: to give you kudos for your latest ad, supporting your limited edition SS.Lady ellisse jersey:
While I might quibble with your subpar Photoshopping skills, Assos, I can’t help but admire the fact that for your ad, you put a woman on a bike, in the outdoors, wearing biking clothing.
And while I personally believe that the jersey featured in this ad makes a personal statement along the lines of “I really miss 1974,” that’s neither here nor there.
The important thing is you show admirable respect for your female riders, treating them as what they are: an important part of our cycling community.
Oh, hang on. Wait a second. Hm.
Well, this is embarrassing.
As it turns out, that image above is something I put together myself in Photoshop. Here’s the ad you actually placed in Peloton:
In my defense, these ads are so similar to each other that it’s easy to see why I mixed the two up. After all, in both cases, the women are kneeling, wearing spike heels, and form-fitting shiny vinyl pants (over ridiculously sticklike legs) that are specially designed to be so movement-restricting that they come with a warning that says, “WARNING: DO NOT WEAR.”
So the ads may be different in some ways, I guess.
What Is It?
Assos, if this were just an ad featuring a girl — with legs so twiglike that it’s hard to imagine her walking – kneeling (nowhere near a bike) and wearing clothes that are specially designed to be bike-prohibitive, I’d just let the whole thing go.
But I’m so confused, and I need your help. Specifically, I have been brought to tears over the near-impossibility of understanding your ad copy:
Oh sure, everything starts out just fine. I get “NEW” — it tells me this is a new jersey. I get “sS.ladyEllisse” — this is just a peculiar name for a jersey, but no moreso than “Oldsmobile Omega” is a peculiar name for a car, I suppose.
So we’re just going to let those parts go.
But then there’s the heading above the ad copy: “What Is It?”
Now, I think this heading is probably meant to be a question the ad copy addresses, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. Instead, “What Is It?” is the question I was left with after reading this:
It’s the ASSOS celebration of the year 2013! ladyEllisse was created and designed as a tribute to our female customers and to please the eyes of the entire ASSOS community. Number 13 has a special place in the ASSOS world: it’s level 13, symbolizing the manga.Yio state of mind, the perfect ride, ASSOS nirvana.
Well, of course. That all makes perfect sense. Except for the way it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Unless, of course, you’re willing to go down the ASSOS-flavored rabbit hole, that is. In which case it begins to make a scary, twisted, creepy kind of sense. By which I mean, the kind of sense you would expect from a clothing company that shows an anorexic model dressed from the waist down in bondage-wear and calls it “a tribute to our female customers.”
Let us break it down, shall we?
In your ad, Assos, you tell us that:
Number 13 has a special place in the ASSOS world: it’s level 13….
So this is a special jersey because it’s the year 2013, which reminds you of level 13.
But what, pray tell, is level 13?
Well, I browsed, surfed, explored, and otherwise tried to find there’s no explanation of level 13 on the Assos site. Unless, of course, you take the arcane and devilishly clever step of searching for it using an obscure-but-powerful search engine known as Google.
At which point, you wind up with ASSOS’ very comprehensive description of level 13, which — I want to be absolutely clear here — I am not making up even a tiny bit:
In the real world, there are 50 million cyclists, but only a very few can join Manga.Yio. Qualify yourself & join!
In the course of a man’s life (lady’s too), he (she) reaches various levels and hopefully passes onto the next. The higher the level, the more difficult it gets to move up:
Level 0 birth
Level 1 party, party
Level 2 sex
Level 3 show time
Level 4 knowledge
Then, the privileged ones, move on to
Level 5 wisdom
For normal people, that is the top level of life. But, a selected few cyclists go on and explore the ultimate dimension of inner-balance:
The understanding that a “little thing” called riding your bicycle is the key to personal fulfilment and well-being!
- Living a luxury life does not require millions.
- It’s not about lifestyle, it’s about health status.
- Details don’t matter anymore.
- A world ruled by concentrated, pure emotions.
- An environment reduced to the essence.
- Communication without talking.
- No interferences, no hold ups; everything tuned to your personal frequency.
- And whatever you do, it just feels perfect.
Manga.Yio – where YOU determine the pace of the ride. Fit the profile & join.
ASSOS welcomes you!
I’ve read and re-read this philosophy, and I have a few questions and observations.
- Shouldn’t levels 2 and 3 be switched?
- Why is there a period after “Level” in “Level.13?”
- When I read “A world ruled by concentrated, pure emotions,” I think of an eighteen-month-old child, having a tantrum. Is that what you’re going for in Level.13?
- I assume that “Communication without talking” means that one conveys meaning primarily through the medium of waggling one’s eyebrows meaningfully, punctuated with the flaring of one’s nostrils. And maybe sometimes wearing very tight, shiny pants. Also, I feel I should point out that pre-verbal children communicate without talking…through the medium of tantrums.
- When you say “details don’t matter anymore,” you’re not doing a ton to bolster my confidence in your dedication to quality products. JFYI.
- When you say “Living a luxury life does not require millions,” is that a willful suspension of disbelief kind of thing? As in, we’re not supposed to consider your pricing?
- “No interferences, no hold ups; everything tuned to your personal frequency” — hm. Let’s see. That reminds me of something again. If only I could think of what it is.
Regardless, based on my thorough understanding of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (i.e., I read about it on Wikipedia once), I think I can interpolate what would go between levels 5 and 13:
- Level 6 impertinence
- Level 7 despair
- Level 8 I forget what 8 was for
- Level 9 the all-too-frequent consumption of cheese-flavored snack foods
- Level 10 red sports car
- Level 11 irritating tendency to make jokes about “this one goes to 11″
- Level 12 Cialis
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? I even bolded them for you and everything.
Sadly, the “Level.13″ nonsense is only a fraction of the ridiculously cryptic ad copy here, Assos. In the same sentence as the “Level 13″ schtick — as if we haven’t already been thoroughly beaten about the head and shoulders with ad copy that ought to come with a decoder ring — you tell us that Level 13 symbolizes “the manga.Yio state of mind.”
As if we didn’t already know that. Pfff.
So, being the courageous user of Google that I am, I go ahead and try to find what these mystical, mysterious words — ”manga.Yio” — could possibly mean.
It must be something secret. Something that commands reverence. Something as deep as Level.13 itself.
Or maybe it’s just the name of a store in Switzerland where you can buy Assos stuff.
Yep, that’s really all it is. So when you’re in “the manga.Yio state of mind,” they mean you’re in the state of mind of a really pretentious-looking store, with hardly anything in it. Here, take a look:
So what is the concept behind this store / state of mind? Well, both manga.Yio and I are very glad you asked:
In Ticino, Lugano, Switzerland, “Terra di Ciclismo” and home of ASSOS, the Assos manga.Yio is the Assos Experience Superstore. It’s more than a store.
Assos manga.Yio is fully focused on the Assos values. See, feel, touch & endorse.
Assos manga.Yio, where you can live the unique Assos experience
Assos manga.Yio, where you can indulge, share and receive answers.
Assos manga.Yio, that showcases and makes available our entire Assos product collection
Assos manga.Yio, created to identify and service your needs.
Assos manga.Yio, to provide your perfect outfit for your perfect ride.
Questions? We do have the answers.
We strive to have only happy customers. And we are happy when our customers enjoy a perfect ride!
Thank you for visiting & enjoy Assos.
“A situation which I dislike very much, is to find myself in a restaurant with an endless choice of courses. Total confusion and waste of time. What I appreciate instead, is having the cook welcoming me, looking in my eyes, identifying my needs and finally serving me the dish I was dreaming of.” Nice!
créateur & ceo Assos of Switzerland SA
Or in other words, manga.Yio is a store where instead of you buying what you want, some guy stares at you for a minute and then tells you what you get to buy. (thirty-year financing available upon request).
I am so excited to visit manga.Yio, Assos. And you can bet I’ll come over as soon as I reach Level.13.
Assuming, of course, I can walk that far when wearing these shiny black pants.