That sexist pink Lady Ball commercial was actually just a PR stunt
Are you ready for The Lady Ball? Lots of people weren't.
Pens, razor blades and many other products out there that claim to be "for her" are needlessly gendered for the sake of marking up prices by adding pink and glittery labels â so it comes as no surprise that sporting equipment that would be added to that list.
See also: 5 things to know before buying a pink-ribbon product
The so-called Lady Ball hit the Internet on Jan. 13 in the form of a kitschy viral video that vaguely reminded us all of those instructional videos from the early 1990's that taught us about the Internet. The video (above) tells the viewer, "why should the boys have all the fun? We can play ball too."
The ball's "eazi-play" design is easier for "a woman's abilty" (read: less than a man's ability), and is "fashion driven" for a woman's style" (read: it's pink). Naturally, people got offended by this.
Products like #ladyball help women get ahead in life. Thanks to BiC for her I became a journalist. pic.twitter.com/QQoxKPAawv
â Fiona Ellis (@fionafellis) January 14, 2016
#Ladyball ... pink, soft, promoted by guy who said no to marriage equalityâwhat more could one want as a woman living in 2016?! #totalfail
â Dr Tanja Bueltmann (@scotsdiaspora) January 13, 2016
Ladies! Forget the #ladyball. Invest in one of these. Sadly not available in pink pic.twitter.com/Lf6ZeMWRnt
â Annie West (@anniewestdotcom) January 13, 2016
Equal broadcasting/media coverage and recognition is what encourages girls to get into sports, not the colour pink #Ladyball
â Aoife (@QueenLatAoife_) January 13, 2016
WHO in the name of God allowed the #ladyball to happen? pic.twitter.com/SKq5gVvu0n
â Gina (@GlowPiglet) January 13, 2016
Hey @theladyball_com is there a special red #Ladyball that's available once a month?
â Maria Brosnan (@brosie8) January 13, 2016
Really thought @theladyball_com was some sort of bizarre joke but NO,it appears to be real. WHAT THE WHAT. #Ladyball pic.twitter.com/2fw1mpxrnz
â Elaine Buckley (@ElaineBucko) January 13, 2016
The Lady Ball even recruited former Dublin footballer Ger Brennan to endorse it, which only added fuel to the fire in convincing Internet users that the bright pink ball was a real product.
Whether it was sheer Internet savviness or because they just couldn't bear to live in a world where someone would actually release a product like Lady Ball in 2016, not everyone was fooled.
Oh please... *she sighs* #ladyball pic.twitter.com/EtpXBkJDRq
â justageek (@ImogenMcN) January 13, 2016
Surely a piss take? #Ladyball @Louise_Johnston
â Juliette Gash (@JulietteGash) January 13, 2016
What a time to be alive #Ladyball https://t.co/B1hYKc80Zi
â J (@JadeODoherty) January 13, 2016
The big PR reveal over this #Ladyball thing better be worth all the eye-rolling while reading gullible tweets thinking it's real. #morketing
â Oliver Callan (@olivercallan) January 14, 2016
On Jan. 15, supermarket chain Lidl Ireland revealed themselves to be behind the viral campaign and the tone deaf product. Lady Ball, while thankfully will never be in stores near you, is actually a campaign to get people seriously talking about women in sports.
The company posted a video on Twitter that explains the ball's true motives.
The game is up. #Ladyball #SeriousSupport @lidlireland @LadiesFootballhttps://t.co/PysI14iq2A
â Lady Ball (@theladyball_com) January 15, 2016
Whether the company achieved their goal is a matter of opinion. Some people on Twitter believe that the campaign, while well intentioned, still misses the point.
Even if the #Ladyball is all a joke, women's sport is still the punchline. https://t.co/qwHKuyfRM7
â Eve Hartley (@eve_hartley) January 14, 2016