The most innovative and thought-provoking marketing campaign for 2016 may already be won.
Yesterday, social media went into meltdown when a new pink 'LadyBall' was 'launched'.
#LadyBall was quick to hit the top trends on Twitter as the sexism in sport card was rolled out but one look at the colourful ad should set alarm bells off that there is no way you will be able to purchase a pink 'LadyBall' in the near future.
There is also one quote from 'brand ambassador' Ger Brennan that looks rather out of place.
"It's ok to play like a girl," he says in the 'press release'. Not really consistent with the natural tongue of the All Ireland winner, who has been the subject of many fine newspaper interviews in the past.
If you don't believe me, read this piece with Marie Crowe.
The 'Ladyball' was portrayed to be similar in style to the ball used in FA Cup games by the manufacturers and 'specifically designed for the lady's game'.
According to ladyball.com: “The idea for Ladyball came from personal experience when one of the creators tried various ball sports as a weight loss measure and found the regular (or as we like to call them “man-sized”) balls heavy, cumbersome and difficult to control.”
Independent.ie is calling this one as an elaborate marketing campaign so expect some big news on ladies sport in the next few days and it is believed that a campaign to raise money for ovarian cancer may be launched sometime next week.
There is an active website, however, and advertisements for the ball have been run in all of today's newspapers.
Former Dublin star Ger Brennan has 'endorsed' the product and his quotes smack of mischief.
"I got involved with Ladyball because I’ve seen how much more active women have become in recent years-I think the participation of women in sports is increasing, which is great, around 40pc of women in Ireland now take part in some sort of sporting activity, which is a huge jump in numbers-but this growth has been mostly in solitary activities like swimming and running and it hasn’t translated to team sports," said Brennan.
"I think team sports can be intimidating for women, they tend to be very physical and require particular skills, which can be off putting, but I think the Ladyball can combat that- it’s designed to enhance a woman’s abilities and make it easier for women to play, so I hope it will open doors for more women to get involved.
"I think it’s a well known fact that women play differently and have different abilities and a different skill set, this is a fact that should be celebrated and I think the Ladyball does just that, it aims to enhance the way women naturally play. There’s nothing wrong with playing like a girl."
Hats off to all involved in this marketing stunt and we are looking forward to seeing the real product.
Plenty of people on Twitter think it's the real deal, however:
I just bought a Ladyball with a Conor McGregor euro coin #Ladyball— Oisin Langan (@oisinlangan) January 13, 2016
#ladyball is NOT true. It is CLEARLY a joke designed to stir people into a frenzy. It CANNOT be real!— Anne-Marie McNally (@amomcnally) January 13, 2016
I do not understand tweets about #Ladyball unless they are in pink and have some fluffy kitten emojis with them. Then I can comprehend them— Fiona Kenny (@fionakenny1) January 13, 2016
"Women just had to make do with balls meant for men." All those years, slumming it with O'Neill's official match balls. NO MORE. #Ladyball— Elaine Buckley (@ElaineBucko) January 13, 2016