Assos has an ad on page seven of Cycle Sport’s October issue. It’s for their women’s range, which is called s5.ladyEllise because pre-Windows 95 filenames are definitely ‘on trend’ right now. Naturally, that woman who is in all their ads for ladies’ clothing features in this one too. She’s not semi-naked on this occasion, but she is wearing her trademark tight latex trousers and a pair of high heels. Plus a cycling jersey, of course. And she’s kneeling.
Basically, the image is a clusterfuck of contrived notions of horniness that only the Swiss cheeseball outfitters themselves could have pulled off. Bravo, monsieurs! But it’s the trio of accompanying sentences that really makes me think Switzerland’s finest bib-short manufacturer has finally disappeared up its own Assos.
WHAT IS IT? It’s the ASSOS celebration of the year 2013! Fellas, it’s no good turning up now with a pretty girl wanting to party. It’s September! The ol’ 2013 celebrations will be over sooner than you can say, “Goodbye, Lombardia”! And here was I thinking the Swiss were experts at timing. Disappointing.
ladyElisse was created and designed as a tribute to our female customers and to please the eyes of the entire ASSOS community. Can’t help thinking you’ve fallen short of achieving these goals, lads. Looking at that image, I can see that the Assos lady wants to go out (latex pants), have sex (kneeling, head dipped at optimum ‘come-and-get-it’ angle) and ride a bike (cycling jersey) all at the same time. No woman wants to specifically do these three activities simultaneously, and no man finds that level of multitasking sexy (onerous and tiring, yes; sexy, no). Also, in the midst of your fevered imaginings, you have managed to get the name of your own range wrong: “Ellisse” has a double ‘l’, not one.
Number 13 has a special place in the ASSOS world: it’s level 13, symbolizing the manga.Yio state of mind, the perfect ride, ASSOS nirvana. Right, bear with me here, because I think I can provide some sort of translation. The “13” obviously comes from 2013. “Manga.yio” is the Assos online store. (The URL is mangayio.com, which is somewhat appropriate as their male model looks like a homoerotic mandroid.) “Manga-yio” is also the name of a half-baked philosophy which is supposed to have 13 levels of enlightenment but which appears to have only seven: level 1 is “party party” and level 2 is “sex”. Which is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Partying and sex. Sex and party, partying. There’s not much to do in Switzerland, so the Assos top brass had a brainstorming weekender that degenerated into a sex party, and in the post-orgasmic brain fug they managed to cobble together some sort of free-forming philosophy and an ad campaign to go with it. Yep, that’s it.
Well, it’s my theory anyway. And I defy you to come up with a better one.