where'd ya go?

Editor

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carlsbad


You know, there was a time when advertisers used to love to feature sailing in their ads. It was cool, romantic, exciting and it made perfect sense to use this medium to sell. But not so much anymore, and it has been this way for years. What in the hell do you think happened?

Video thanks to Anarchist Serge

 

teddyrow

New member
Hard to pinpoint, but it's part of a larger sailing issue.  (Warning rant ahead) There's still adds featuring sailing out there, but they're geared to either the upper class (think Rolex buyers) or to obtaining the dream of being upper class (think loto patrons).  To connect with the public, sailing needs to reinvent it's image from an ellitist luxary sport of lounging on the water to an inclusive performance sport/lifestyle which anyone or at least a target audience, say outdoor orientated millennials and gen xers that like a challenge, can do. Sailors are hard working, intelligent, physically active folks that love what they do and are successful. However none of the fun or these ancillary benefits of sailing including team work, community, networking, problem solving, etc, are conveyed to the public.  If the sailing community can reinvent the publics image of sailing, people will show interest and get involved.  To get people involved, the sailing industry needs to reinvent how people start sailing. As the current approach, if you could call it an approach, is doing a diservice to the sport. We need to rethink the worthless $400 sailing intro to sailing lessons, and eliminate the barriers to entry.  If someone is interested in sailing, they should have the opportunity to get on a boat for less than $50 and it should come with a cold beer. You can rent a surfboard for $20 in a beach. Why not a Lido and an instructor? Hell, maybe US Sailing, HH, Musto, Etc should sponsor adds in the Atlantic or Economist on why people should sail.  They could use Mas, the Moore 24 that won the 2016 Pac Cup, as an example or Raindrop the '70's Cascade 36 which did the Vic Maui with two father son teams. People like a challenge and people like being outdoors, this shouldn't be that difficult. 

Rant rant rant! 

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Omer

Anarchist
901
30
Simply numbers.. Sailing folks all over the world are far less than many other sports. No matter how clever they are or how much disposable income they have.

 
I think one of the issues is that it's hard to make sailing interesting to watch as a sport. Some of the Olympics  Sailing and America's Cup was OK to watch, but it's very weather dependent. If it's not a sport people are willing to watch, it's hard to make it appeal to advertisers. You've also got the added complexity of the water environment (weather, boats, Health & Safety, salt water, etc) which makes it hard to put an ad together. 

Compared to some of the other 'extreme sports':

  • Snowboarding/Skiing - Yes, it's cold, but you have a large weather window, and you're on the land. 
  • Surfing - Sit on a beach, and wait for the right wave. Shoot most/all of the images from the land.
  • Bike/Skateboard - Find the right backdrop and shoot. As long as it's not raining, you're OK.

Sailing is just hard in comparison! 

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,369
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Edgewater, MD
Sailors are hard working, intelligent, physically active folks that love what they do and are successful. However none of the fun or these ancillary benefits of sailing including team work, community, networking, problem solving, etc, are conveyed to the public.

Rant rant rant! 

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I agree with all of that but it's also an issue of time and convenience.  It seems that people are stretched tighter than ever before from several different directions.

Anything with "-ball" in it wins out because you can stow a ball in your house cheaply and in very little space. You can quickly and easily put your ball (and/or clubs) in your car and be playing in 30 minutes and back home again.  That's a big deal when you have little time off from work and family obligations.

No hassles with the HOA over that ratty, Hobie or Laser parked in your driveway, etc.  Community sailing centers can help with some of this. They keep costs low, and reduce the setup/takedown times somewhat and provide access to the water that many folks otherwise wouldn't have. They also reduce or eliminate time spent on maintenance, which a lot of hard working, younger people don't have time for.

Problem is, I keep seeing threads pop up here where developers are gobbling up water access properties, and community sailing centers and long-standing marinas are getting kicked to the curb, so community sailing centers are an endangered species. Municipalities allow this because wealthy condo owners who also often own expensive boats in slips attached to their condo generate far more tax revenue than middle class folks playing at the community sailing center. That's to say nothing of any shady dealings that may be going on between developers and town councils that encourage this shrinking of public access to the water.

Sailing does seem to have a weird view with the non-sailing masses though.  When I show photos or videos to friends and co-workers of me sailing either my Tartan 33 or my Hobie 16, one of the most frequent reactions I get is they simply shake their heads and say "That looks like way too much work to be fun."

I have no idea how to overcome that attitude.

 

XTR

Member
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Probably because today marketing types have infinitely more info on the potential market.  Instead of adds being whatever some bright guy at Wesellit came up that looked or sounded cool they analyze a gazillion bits of data on target markets for products and what will appeal to them, then they focus group test and confirm their findings.  It would seem that for most products sailing isn't it.

 

comcrudesgru8

Member
386
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I heard Starbucks is going with a Sailing promotion this summer...

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Sail is this from your personal collection......thx for sharing at brkfst.....how do you guys explain curling given your observations above ?   Its on prime time TV  and clearly has advertisers that are not selling ice.    Sailing in advertising has always been a format of the poseur.    It showed somethiing beyond your ability to acquire and thus you wanted to acquire the product aligned with it.   Its like beautiful perfume models.....the shit stinks on your ball and chain but the delusion lasts.

 

Rum Runner

Rum Runner
5,266
291
Illinois
When most people sailed small boats the sport was cool and people could identify with it. After all the emphasis became big boats and regattas like the America's Cup which only rich white guys participated in, the sport became uncool.  

 
Sail is this from your personal collection......thx for sharing at brkfst.....how do you guys explain curling given your observations above ?   Its on prime time TV  and clearly has advertisers that are not selling ice.    Sailing in advertising has always been a format of the poseur.    It showed somethiing beyond your ability to acquire and thus you wanted to acquire the product aligned with it.   Its like beautiful perfume models.....the shit stinks on your ball and chain but the delusion lasts.
Curling is easy to explain, it’s cheap, all you need is a broom, and you get too hold a rum and coke in the other hand...... 

 

Sail4beer

Super Anarchist
9,518
3,092
Toms River,NJ
I was thinking about shifting norms and traditions in advertising the other day and my research revealed that more people should smoke and drink.

Thats why they called them the Good Old Days!

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comcrudesgru8

Member
386
9
Curling is easy to explain, it’s cheap, all you need is a broom, and you get too hold a rum and coke in the other hand...... 
not at SGCC in Toronto.........they shitcanned the curling after 60 years.......the rocks are worth $600 each.......nice profit there.......apparently curlers are cheap freeloaders.......

 

dogdoo

New member
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Remember when we used to smoke because it made the best telltail on a very light air day?  Rum helps on those light air days too.  Now you can't sell smoke and rum to kids.  That's what happened.

 
A opinion from a american living in France.  France has done a good job of increasing the interest in sailing.  They have a completely different approach to sailing and it starts from a young age.  In France if you live close to water of any kind, then it is obligatory to sail in a optimist as part of your general public education.  The side effect of this is that you have all walks of life who become sailors not just the rich.  

Secondly and more importantly is the feeling, the ambiance of sailing in the USA or England is anything but inviting.  There is nothing romantic about people staring a newcomer down wondering what yacht club they come from.  It doesn't make people want to start sailing.   The elitist unfortunately have killed the sport.

 

comcrudesgru8

Member
386
9
A opinion from a american living in France.  France has done a good job of increasing the interest in sailing.  They have a completely different approach to sailing and it starts from a young age.  In France if you live close to water of any kind, then it is obligatory to sail in a optimist as part of your general public education.  The side effect of this is that you have all walks of life who become sailors not just the rich.  

Secondly and more importantly is the feeling, the ambiance of sailing in the USA or England is anything but inviting.  There is nothing romantic about people staring a newcomer down wondering what yacht club they come from.  It doesn't make people want to start sailing.   The elitist unfortunately have killed the sport.
My Lord I am so sorry to read how you were harmed during your youth and how it has destroyed your love of sailing and your fellow man.   Might I at least comfort you by saying that in fact nothing  has  " killed the sport ".   The sport is alive and well and functioning.    Choose therapy or perhaps a greater quantity of booze might help your tragically fragile psychology.   Be well  dear  boy.

 

claykarmel

New member
36
0
San Diego
It's simpler than that, really.  The baby boomers had come of age and had disposable income.  We had discovered the environment and the outdoors.  Now baby boomers are old and grumpy.  Younger environmentalists mostly aren't also outdoorsmen (women/people).  Marketing is now micro-targeted, so there are more effective methods than obscure adventure sports like ice boating and sailing.

Or it's all a global warming conspiracy or something.  Who knows.  

Get off your keyboard and go sailing.

 
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