Dear ASP: step your game up!

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Dear ASP,

Here we are: you have a new owner (ZoSea), new partners (ESPN, YouTube, Samsung), and the promise of an enhanced World Tour (the women finally have their contest in Hawai’i). 2013 was a year of transition, and 2014 will be the first year of the rest of your existence. As Mick Fanning says: “ASP, it’s on!”

I am looking forward to spending early mornings and late nights in front of my laptop to watch the Men & Women contests: Fiji, Teahupo’o, Hossegor, Pipeline, Honolua Bay… Nice choice of waves. Slater will fight for a 12th World title, Fanning will defend his title, Parko and Burrow will try to clinch a 2nd or a 1st World title, Florence and Wilson are pushing… Great prospects, right?

Nevertheless, I would blame you for one thing: the trailers of the contests. (Actually, I also blame you for your lack of communication or, let’s say, “interaction” with your publics -journalists, bloggers, enthusiasts- on the social networks, but you should already know that). Some days ago, the trailers of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and the Roxy Pro Gold Coast were disclosed, and I was disappointed: 2014 is the year of a renewal, and these trailers look like they were done in 2004! Are you serious? Come on, guys!

I guess you guys have already heard about storytelling? So, why don’t you put some in the trailers? You could tell the story of the contests or the locations, by focusing on the surfers’ points of view or experiences. You could include some lifestyle images, instead of making an action-oriented trailer. Now that you have more resources, it shouldn’t be that difficult to be original. Tell your publics a story! Make them dream, instead of making them feel they watch just another trailer. Honestly, who remembers the trailer of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2012 or the one that was made for the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro 2010? I know “Google is our friend”, but I’d rather remember something without using Google.

The only trailer I can remember is the one for the 2013 Roxy Pro Biarritz. I won’t discuss the fact that it was sexist or too commercial. I remember it because it was DIFFERENT from all the other trailers that were (are) made. There was some teasing for the announcement of Stephanie Gilmore joining Roxy; there was a totally different atmosphere from the usual combination “wave-wave-wave”; the length of the trailer was a bit longer.

You don’t need to include softporn in the trailers to be different -anyway, now, it’s already done. But you could be more creative. Brand content and storytelling are the key words.

Please, don’t misunderstand me: I am not a hater; I like what you did, what you do, and I will support you. But I don’t want you to become bigger: I just want you to become better. Better to promote the surfing to a larger public in the best way. Follow your business plan that was implemented by Paul Speaker and his team. But don’t forget to listen to the critics that can be made to improve yourself.

Thanks for reading.

Yours sincerely,

– Guillaume

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