Thursday, February 27

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Over the years, I've watched the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue grow and grow ... reaching what I would call "brand status" at this point.  And the calendar too (do people still buy calendars?!?).

The year was quite the bomb because it's the 50th anniversary ... now that's a brand with staying power.  And with social media "these days," there actually are quite a few bombs being thrown.  Or shade as they say.

First of all the models are tossing around commentary, which is all great fun.  And some of the former models are weighing in on their run in the sun.  The social aspect of this brand has taken it to another level.

Retail has kicked in as well, with Sports Illustrated Swimwear available at Target.  I personally had never seen that brand extension before.  Well done.

And then of course there's Barbie.  She hit quite a stir when the 50-something "model" announced "apologetically" that she would be in the issue, swimsuit and all.  Why it caused such a stir, I don't know because this girl's been wearing swimwear since nearly day one.  The Barbie Sports Illustrated version is available at Target as well.  "The doll that started it all."  Well played.

I know many people think this is all sexist and perpetuates female stereotypes, and I get it.  But it's also a part of our collective pop culture and you certainly don't have to participate if you choose not to.

I for one kind of appreciate the brand, all 50 years of it.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Join us for live tweets during the Academy Awards on Sunday 3/2/14 at #OscarExp.  We'll be talking about the marketing, but probably not about swimwear.

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