I’ve said for years that helmet marketing was gimmicky (that’s a technical term) and that the marketing was driving the standards and thus, the design. This is nearly always bad. Marketing folks don’t know their products. They don’t understand the design, intent, or results of the use of their product. What they understand, and make no mistake, they understand it VERY well, is how to sell. Education in marketing is intently focused on the psychology of purchasing and the things that influence that, rather than delivering a product that works.
As a quick example, marketing by fear is a big seller, but the fears they play on are rarely realistic OR particularly moderated by the products advertised.
Sex is another great marketing tool that makes things sell, but the products rarely deliver the promises. How many of you can honestly say your bike handles better after buying those tires that had the prettiest half-naked woman on the calendar? And, did you get laid by three super-models after buying and drinking all that cheap beer (I mean really, not just what your alcohol fogged memory reports). Yah, drunkeness and beer burps are incredibly sexually appealing.
All that said, marketing in helmets is driving the standards, and that is a bad thing for motorcyclists. Hey, your Snell helmet can take a stainless 10kg ball dropped on it from 10 feet up twice in the same spot. So what if in the real world there are practically NO accidents that mimic those conditions. So what if by meeting that standard they are practically insuring a much greater risk of injury in the accidents you are most likely to get into.
Here’s a very interesting Helmet Article on the subject. It’s a long read but well worth it. Well, unless that pretty girl and high price on the helmet box is really the appropriate criteria to base the purchase of safety equipment on.
Ah, well. At least we’re safe if somebody drops a stainless steel ball on our head.