File under “questionable marketing strategies” …
Urban Outfitters got into some hot water recently over a t-shirt advertised on its website. The slogan printed on the said t-shirt was “Eat Less”. Yeah … you wouldn’t think it would take a genius to see where this was headed. Anyway, Urban Outfitters has since pulled the t-shirt after receiving a bunch of (very) negative feedback. I can report, based on the picture I saw of the clothing in question, that it was an uninspiring looking, hip-length plain gray tee. To put it bluntly, it was pretty ugly. But I am sure that people were not incensed by its questionable aesthetic value; it was the message that came back to bite Urban Outfitters in the butt.
My own first reaction was, literally, a gasp. After a while, having read other people’s comments on the situation, I decided that I was not offended by the slogan, as much as perplexed. Who thought this was a good idea? Ironic or otherwise, I don’t really get the point of it. Who’s going to wear a t-shirt that says “Eat Less”? Skinny people with, ahem, issues? Skinny people who like to get lambasted for their insensitivity? Not-so-skinny people with low self esteem? People who like to offend other people? [I ask that last question because, judging by the backlash, there are clearly people out there who are offended by it. And I don’t necessarily think that they’re overreacting.]
I get trying to be edgy. But I just don’t understand the thinking behind this.
On further thought, I wonder if this was some sort of allusion to Kate Moss’ comment to the effect that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I know that comment also sparked a lot of animated debate, and this seems like it’s trying to be the Coles’ Notes version of it or something. [And, for the record, I would give Moss the benefit of the doubt in regards to her comment being tongue firmly in cheek.]
Finally, I would add that “Eat Less” is a rather ambiguous slogan. Eat less what? That is a crucial piece of information. See, if you’re talking pureed spinach, for example, I could get behind that. Or, say, haggis. On the other hand, if you’re talking Timbits, you talkin’ crazy. Nothing tastes better than Timbits first thing in the morning. Nothing. Except a can of diet Coke. Kate Moss is woefully uninformed.
On second thought … you should eat less Timbits. Especially sour cream glazed ones. I hate it when they run out.