A great cycling TV ad
Specialized The Chase TV Commercial
Posted 27 July 2012
Words by Simon Whiten
In recent years, advertisements for cycling equipment have become a slightly more common sight on the UK’s TVs. Eurosport pioneered this trend with ads such as SiDi’s pro-riders-cum-chefs stir-frying up a new pair of shoes, while ITV4 has recently showcased the product catalogue of online retailer, Wiggle, with the clever ‘cycling enthusiast for all seasons’ ads and has featured sponsorship from Halfords in the form of the fantastical ‘Tour de Francis’. These boosts to the profile of the sport are still novel enough to make British viewers sit up and take notice.
One recent advertisement from this year’s Tour de France really stands out for us enthusiasts though, encapsulating as it does the passion that explains why so many of us drag ourselves out of bed every morning to straddle our bikes, and it is ‘The Chase’ from Specialized. Whichever ad agency creative dreamed up this superb ad understands the whole mentality that inspires any (every?) ride, motivating us to push just that bit harder. Although such episodes are usually reserved for when we find ourselves pedalling alone, I have to admit that there was a time when I would shout out the name of a ‘hero’ prior to putting in an attack from my training group; “Gianetti!” springs to mind…
Imagining what you might think you could have achieved given the right circumstances [and the right legs – ed.], this delightful advertisement shows its youthful protagonist keeping cobbled classics king, Tom Boonen, at bay on the road to Roubaix! (If, like me, you’re a bit older, replace Boonen with Johan Museeuw, or if of Richard’s vintage, Walter Godefroot…).
Either way, The Chase is a superb piece of work and one that should be celebrated as a major leap forward for the public image of cycle sport here in the UK. In the face of the online onslaught, TV may not be the ‘be all and end all’ of marketing it once was, but it is still the major sign of credibility, not just for a brand but for the market within which it operates. Brand exposure on mainstream TV is something cycling in the English-speaking world really needs. Let’s hope this example inspires a whole new generation of English-speaking Boonens.