Yesterday, a high gloss pink soccer ball “produced” in the UK bounced into social media feeds, and quickly became a trending topic in Ireland. Called the Ladyball, it’s said to be “specially designed for a lady’s game.” The sheer absurdity of the marketing promotion, which includes sexist clichés, hacky innuendo, and a prominent male Footballer spokesperson, has left legit UK media outlets and Tweeters debating if it’s an elaborate hoax or real, and just the worst campaign ever. We’re officially calling BS on the Ladyball, but we do want to know why someone went to a whole lot of money, time and trouble to pull this off. They got the attention they wanted, so what’s the Ladyball a front for?
A 4-second Google image search led us to the Shutterfly stock photo that was photoshopped to peddle the Ladyball. That was BS clue #1 about the legitimacy of this product. Think about it… if you are part of the brain trust that spent months “designing, production and testing” a “revolution” in sports equipment, would you ever think of marketing it with a photoshopped image? That’s rhetorical. Of course you wouldn’t. You’ve got money for R&D, you’ve got plenty of money for product photography.
That brings us to BS Clue #2, not that we needed any more evidence to arrive at a unanimous verdict. But it gives us an excuse to share the absolutely ridiculous product details of the Ladyball as described by whoever is behind it: 1. It’s made of soft-touch material “for a woman’s grip,” that’s carefully hand-stitched “in a unique pretty pattern” 2. It boasts a “patented Eazi-Play technology” that’s suited for “a woman’s ability” 3. It’s “fashion-driven for a woman’s style.”
It’s never been easier to kick straight while looking great!
Ok, we don’t need to go any further. There is nothing to debate. Ladyball is not a real product. However, that brings us to the what/who is behind this attention getting campaign and the why.
The fine print that runs along the bottom of the promotional video notes, “Ladyball is a concept project designed to encourage more women to play sports.” On the remote chance that this is some kind of twisted ploy to get more women interested and involved, then YES… it is the worst sports marketing campaign ever.
Whatever it is, it’s commanding a ton of attention and garnering real news headlines (here and here) and driving endless social media chatter, especially considering the gems that Ladyball is running on its Twitter and Facebook feeds now (see below).
After having to comb through this hot pink mess to put our story together, we’re hoping the pay-off is worth it when the true purpose and meaning of Ladyball is revealed. One theory currently being floated is that it might be connected to an ovarian cancer campaign rumored to be launching next week.