Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicago, You're Critical Mass Is Being Sponsored By Urban Outfitters ...And Levi's!

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from Urban Outfitters ( buy one pair of shoes six years ago...) that I couldn't help but feel was a couple of project coordinator's well-intentioned, yet somewhat clueless attempt at cross promotion.

The cross promotion in question is (sub)Urban Outfitters team-up with Levi's to promote the jeans maker's new 511 Commuter. As seen in the video below, Levi's put a ton o' gimmes into these jeans to make them appealing to the ever-present stationary fixed gear rider with a warehouse/projector set-up:

Judging by the comments on YouTube, this promotional video has indeed generated the "I want 'em!" buzz the brand was looking for. However, as several female commentators noted, these jeans are being marketed only to guys - which makes sense, since Levi's is strictly making the 511 Commuter for dudes. As one of these commentators also noted, any female urban bike rider looking to utilize the wondrous attributes of these jeans will have to buy the men's size small (a brilliant bit of irony, given the trend a couple of years ago of skinny fellas buying girl's jeans - NATCH!)

Now personally, I'm not a fan of the oh-so-skinny 511's. I tried on a pair once and honestly, couldn't peel them off my leg fast enough. There's just something about looking like you're in a denim ballet that doesn't appeal to me. The looser, yet slightly more dignified skinny-cut 513's are more my speed (Hear that Levi's? Why not extend the Commuter brand across your other "urban" jeans platforms?)

But the Levi's jeans end of this promotion wasn't what was giving me the arshole. No, it was UO's cross country, town-to-town free bike tuning promotion that made me groan through my eyes-closed-shaking-head-back-and-forth guffaw.

While the "Custom Levi's Commuter Tailoring," "DIY Bike Bag" and the "And More" sound slightly appealing, it's the "Bike Tuning With An Expert Mechanic" that ultimately elicits a "tsk, tsk." I mean, I can see where, in Urban Outfitters' mind, that this promotion makes total sense (since UO has their own line of fixed gear bicycles, and all), but looking at the tour stops (seriously, Asheville, but not Davis, Baltimore or Seattle???), I'm going to venture to guess that most - if not all - of these cities have at least (!) one bike shop. Imagine how pleased these bike shop's proprietors must be to know Urban Outfitters and Levi's are doing their jobs ...FOR FREE! Slap, meet face.

(Wait! New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Portland? They have a small cadre of messenger bag manufacturers, right? Hey, they'll be pleased with Urban Outfitters x Levi's traveling swiping-food-from-mouth show, too!)

Anyhoo, if you're looking to "get in the saddle" and take your LBS for granted - or if you're a LBS owner in one of the cities listed above looking to meet the brains behind this fabulous event - here's where Urban Outfitters' and Levi's semi-free (I mean, you're still gonna be buying these $78 jeans, right?) events will be:

New York City
Friday, 8/5
Ace Hotel 20
West 29th Street

Sunday, 8/7
Ace Hotel
20 West 29th Street

Thursday, 8/11
UO Center City
1627 Walnut Street

Friday, 8/12
UO Headquarters
5000 South Broad Street

Washington, DC
Saturday, 8/13
Dupont Circle
Massachusetts Avenue

Monday, 8/15
UO Asheville
15 Haywood Street

Wednesday, 8/17
UO Poncey-Highland
1061 Ponce DeLeon Avenue

New Orleans
Friday, 8/19
Esplanade and Frenchman Streets

Monday, 8/22
UO UT Campus
2406 Guadalupe Street

Thursday, 8/25
UO Wicker Park
1521 North Milwaukee Avenue

Friday, 8/26
Critical Mass Ride
Dearborn & Washington Streets

Sunday, 8/28
UO Uptown
3006 South Hennepin Avenue

Tuesday, 8/30
UO Saddle Creek
745 North 14th Street

Thursday, 9/1
Pearl Street
1795 Pearl Street

Salt Lake City
Saturday, 9/3
Washington Square

San Francisco
Monday, 9/5
Levi's Plaza
Lombard & Battery Streets

Santa Barbara
Wednesday, 9/7
Stearns Wharf
State & West Cabrillo Streets

Los Angeles
Friday, 9/9
Bicycle Film Festival

Saturday, 9/10
UO - Space 15Twenty
1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard

Thursday, 9/22
Ace Hotel - The Cleaners
1022 Southwest Stark Street

Friday, 9/23
Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA)
1241 Northwest Johnson Street

Saturday, 9/24
Chris King Factory
2801 Northwest Nela Street


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