Why People Don't Like Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls Fake Climbing Face

I received an email from a PR team that handles the Degree (antiperspirant) brand.

They asked me to post this video on the blog. I replied that this is not beneficial in any way to the visitors of Highball Blog. It's well produced but it's a commercial. They din't reply.

After a while, they wrote another email saying the video is not clear for posting yet. And then I replied:

Perhaps you regret posting that video after all... Watch the dislikes and the comments on YouTube.

The thing is, Bear Grylls has been more of a TV clown than a real survival expert. And when people see bullshit they can tell is bullshit.

If I were him, I'd step back now and do other stuff. He has been overselling and he treated his audience like kids - he basically told us Santa exists... (Fake shots, over dramatization when was not the case, etc.)

If he came on and acknowledged all the BS he has been pushing and asked forgiveness from his audience, he may have a chance to start it all over again - doing it better this time.

We want genuine people. Bear Grylls is a PR manufactured persona....

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Bear Grylls Climbing Shoes

  • If you're in a survival situation, do you run and agitate yourself the way Bear Grylls does?
  • Who runs on the approach way before climbing a sandstone tower?!
  • Are those climbing shoes? (Gimme a break!) Is that how you step to get friction on a sloping ledge?
  • Where's the belayer, dude?
  • Is that rope long enough? How many pitches?

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  1. I agree. Bear Grylls is an over actor and routinely puts himself in situations that are over the top! Sure he's a cool guy and I'd really love to have his job. But he's Hollywood. If you want to see real world survival skills and no camera crew, watch Les Stroud on Survivorman. He's great!

    1. That's true - he's Hollywood. Then why would they wanna advertise Hollywood commercials on an outdoor blog?!

      They started it.

  2. Constantin, I agree with you in part. This video is kind of stupid, although the cinematography is fantastic. However, I don't think this is a reflection on Bear Grylls, but on the people who made the film. He gets criticized a lot on youtube for toproping, but I'd imagine being filmed in this way required hanging out on that route for the better part of a day, so that they could get the right shots. I don't know anyone who can hang out on a climb for several hours while leading trad. As for his show, he's not a poser, it's simply not made for outdoors people, but rather people who only ever dream about doing this stuff. Anyway, it's not about him surviving, but about showing people who have never done anything like it how to survive. As much as I respect Les Stroud, Man vs. Wild is a far more fun show to watch. His shoes: approach shoes. Get a pair, they're fantastic. You can (for no reason whatsoever) run in on the approach, and climb comfortably up to around 5.8. Just some thoughts. I don't think you need to personally attack Bear Grylls for this video, or his show, when it's not made to be viewed by experienced outdoorsmen. Video still makes me want to take the trip out to Utah.

    1. I hear you James.

      But consider this: when a PR firm, supposedly knowing all there is to know about communication and social media, blasts emails to outdoor blogs, asking the bloggers to link up this video, doesn't that mean that they actually want outdoor people to watch it?

      And they don't have a clue about social media. While this is supposed to be a conversation (that's social media: people talking on blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc), they still act as if this is another TV-like medium where all they wanna do is PUSH their message.

      Not replying to an email denotes that they don't know what they're doing.

      So I believe both the big guys in media and communication as well as Bear Grylls are insulting our intelligence.

      Yeah, his TV may not be for outdoor people. But he should disclaim that his show is more a Hollywood type of thing ("Mission Impossible" style) and NOT reality TV nor education.

      The simple fact that some of the target audience is not knowledgeable about this survival-outdoor stuff means they'll be misled so much easier... Isn't that a pity?

      Again, social media is about being real, authentic, transparent. I love this thing too much to not react negatively to a PR BS stunt like this video...

      Yes, the cinematography rocks! :-)

    2. I'd agree with you there. They didn't know much about climbing, or about the crowd they're marketing to. In the end, I think that something like this is stupid, and it ticks me off too. Trying to trick your audience into thinking something is cool is pretty insulting.

    3. Too bad for the voice over message...

  3. Bear grylls. Well, at least it's entertaining, don't diss him. He enjoys what he does and if little kids want to watch him 'climbing' massive rock faces and stuff, they can. I am going to stop there because I am going to get tons of nasty comments for this but at least people know my opinion

    1. :-) Be my guest. Speak your mind.

      I think he's a fraud more than 50% of the time. And little kids will get a wrong impression about all the stuff he does.

      But that's just me.

  4. PS: He is a former SAS, he was in the french legion (look it up if you dont know what it is), he climbed everest and he is the nº 1 scout in Great Britain. Just sayin.

    1. Nobody is questioning his accomplishments.

      Being a TV joke is a whole new ball game which he seems to enjoy. That's where the problem lies.

      He willingly over dramatizes and what he shows and the way he does it (all: survival, climbing, etc.) is just not fair to the less knowledgeable viewer.


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