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  1. #1
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Default Backpack ads.....why are they always wrong?

    Why does it seem like in every ad I see in outdoor mags or even on this website and other hiking website ads, when they show a person with their pack it appears to be jammed full with their gear/food/clothing and yet they are wearing so much of their clothing, sometimes even gloves, hats, gaiters, etc?

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    They are created by ad people and show models with everything looking perfect. There is never a spot of dirt, either. The goal is to show an appealing fantasy. That is what sells the goods.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Same reason why these gnarly off-roads ads have vehicle with NO spots of mud.
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  4. #4
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    But if the selling point of the ad is that you can carry so much in the pack, why would you have the person in the ad wearing so much of the clothing AND show the pack as being jammed full already?

  5. #5

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    And it's the same reason Backpacker magazine (Get Out More) has a two page ad for a Chevy Suburban. I guess they even want the Gas Addicted and the rolling couch potatoes to Get Out More too. Except PLEASE don't leave your vehicles and please get your nature fix from a cushioned seat from behind a windshield. Heck the bravest may even crack their windows a bit.

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    Registered User tarditi's Avatar
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    Sell the sizzle, not the steak

  7. #7
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    Well, in fairness, not all of them do. But most people equate hiking with outdoors and cooler temps (not cold). Imagine that perfect trip - a clear cool fall day in the mountains. People either have done that, or romanticize about it. Either way, the goal is to get you to ASSOCIATE the product with that perfect image (of you) enjoying that experience - so that you want/need that product because it is now part of (associated with) that mental picture of that experience.

    "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation." - Gordon Gecko, Wall Street (1987)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Well, in fairness, not all of them do. But most people equate hiking with outdoors and cooler temps (not cold). Imagine that perfect trip - a clear cool fall day in the mountains. People either have done that, or romanticize about it. Either way, the goal is to get you to ASSOCIATE the product with that perfect image (of you) enjoying that experience - so that you want/need that product because it is now part of (associated with) that mental picture of that experience.

    "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation." - Gordon Gecko, Wall Street (1987)
    You're exactly right, at least here in the Southeast. Case in point---In October of 2013 I saw dozens of backpackers at my usual haunts, and they were out to enjoy the cooler temps and see the leaves. It was in the 50F's most of the time, even at elevation.

    THEN go forward a month on a trip in November with temps consistently 20F to 30F degrees lower and I saw NO ONE. Very weird.

  9. #9
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    You're exactly right, at least here in the Southeast. Case in point---In October of 2013 I saw dozens of backpackers at my usual haunts, and they were out to enjoy the cooler temps and see the leaves. It was in the 50F's most of the time, even at elevation.

    THEN go forward a month on a trip in November with temps consistently 20F to 30F degrees lower and I saw NO ONE. Very weird.
    And why the Whites and New England in general are flooded with hikers from July through September - conditions are pretty nice.

  10. #10

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    so your telling me that these ad's dont have blisters , bug bites , snakes, bears, skunks , poison ivy , sore muscles, blood , sun burn , crotch rot , smelly smell smell body odors, that fishy smell in the woods, MORNING SPIDERWEBZ , diarrhea knee pain ,girls , extreme cold and heat, starvation ............................... they really dont know how to sell there packs then!

  11. #11
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    One specific ad that comes to mind is the one for BackpackingLight, where the owner of the company is standing on a rock and is holding his little itty, bitty pack out at arms length to his right. The small pack appears to be jammed full with whatever remaining gear/food/clothing he would need to do his hike and nothing is attached on the outside, yet he is wearing hat, rain pants/top, and what ever else he may under the rain gear.
    As some have said about other ads, he doesn't look tired, dirty, scraped, bruised, no walking sticks, no water bottles.
    So what's the point of an ad like that if it's not realistic?

  12. #12
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy44 View Post
    so your telling me that these ad's dont have blisters , bug bites , snakes, bears, skunks , poison ivy , sore muscles, blood , sun burn , crotch rot , smelly smell smell body odors, that fishy smell in the woods, MORNING SPIDERWEBZ , diarrhea knee pain ,girls , extreme cold and heat, starvation ............................... they really dont know how to sell there packs then!
    So cynical! There are plenty of attractive healthy looking girls in gear ads. More than even in the woods!

  13. #13
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    One specific ad that comes to mind is the one for BackpackingLight, where the owner of the company is standing on a rock and is holding his little itty, bitty pack out at arms length to his right. The small pack appears to be jammed full with whatever remaining gear/food/clothing he would need to do his hike and nothing is attached on the outside, yet he is wearing hat, rain pants/top, and what ever else he may under the rain gear.
    As some have said about other ads, he doesn't look tired, dirty, scraped, bruised, no walking sticks, no water bottles.
    So what's the point of an ad like that if it's not realistic?
    Realism doesn't sell gear. Idyllic association does.

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Ryan keeps pretty clean on his trips and has done some amazing ones at that (Brooks Range). IIRC, he does not use poles and uses bladders. Would not be surprised if it is realistic.
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    I like the way they advertise a 50L backpack as a daypack.

  16. #16
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    meh... It's just advertising. The ad agency has to make the product look attractive. Reminds me of the ad for Virginia tourism that appeared in one or two magazines with a couple standing on a beautiful mountain top enjoying the view that was labeled as Mt Rogers.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

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    I assume the packs are shown filled up all the way because they want to advertise its max capacity, regardless of whatever clothing has been selected to make the models look good.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    Why does it seem like in every ad I see in outdoor mags or even on this website and other hiking website ads, when they show a person with their pack it appears to be jammed full with their gear/food/clothing and yet they are wearing so much of their clothing, sometimes even gloves, hats, gaiters, etc?

    Marketing and Money

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    But if the selling point of the ad is that you can carry so much in the pack, why would you have the person in the ad wearing so much of the clothing AND show the pack as being jammed full already?
    You are really really really thinking way to hard about this ? what is the point ?

  20. #20
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    Sort of related, it always amuses me when TV shows feature the characters walking through the outdoors who re clean and wearing plenty of makeup. All the while carrying massive, usually external frame, packs, which are bulging out from their contents, yet are obviously weightless, probably filled with packing peanuts or the like.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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