City editor Karen Petersen arrived at work Thursday morning eager to show me the full-page ad she had clipped out of National Geographic.
Design-wise, the ad, for a shoe company I’d never heard of called Gravity Defyer, was very busy — lots of graphic elements and a ton of text, much of it in about 6-point type. It also included a can of something, presumably an energy drink, being poured onto the dominant image of the ad, a Gravity Defyer athletic shoe; I really wasn’t sure what that was supposed to signify other than maybe these shoes were somehow infused with energy.
Anyway, Karen had a question for me:
“Does anything stand out for you about this ad, particularly the shoe itself?”
It took me roughly a nanosecond to answer: “The logo is a sperm cell.”
We were both sort of amused and puzzled by that, so we did what any good journalists would do: We investigated further, by going to www.gravitydefyer.com.
The investigation revealed the company made a variety of shoes for both men and women that feature a “reverse trampoline sole” designed to absorb shock and propel you forward. What it didn’t reveal was why the logo was a sperm cell.
I simply had to know, so I called the number on the ad, 1-800-429-0039, waited on hold for about seven minutes, then asked a woman named Lisa who answered the phone.
“It represents new life,” she said, before adding for emphasis, “It really does.”
“We get asked about it a lot,” Lisa continued.
You don’t say, I thought to myself.
“A lot of people just look past it. The shoes are really good.”
Myself, I wouldn’t have to look past the logo — in fact, I think it’s sort of cool in its own, sort of weird, way.
Were I to buy a pair — at around $130, they’re just too spendy for me — these are the ones I would get: