Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tour de France "Brand New Start" spot

if you're watching the Tour de France (and why the heck wouldn't you?) you've surely seen an emotional spot in which everything moves in reverse. the peleton retreats. a time-trial goes backwards. the traditional look-ma-no-hands kiss to the crowd in reverse, a winner steps down from the podium and, if you haven't yet caught on, Floyd Landis' jersey is removed.

this is one of the powerful anti-doping, clean-slate advertisements Versus created for this year's Tour. it's the only commercial i'm not sick of watching during three rounds of recaps today.

check it:

Tour de France - Brand New Start

you see the laundry list of accused dopers (and from quite a while back). a quick message board search will reveal a lot of mixed emotions on whether this strategy is a) moving the tour forward or b) holding it back and beating a doped-dead horse. the spot comes in :60's and :30's and i love it.

my vote is that it is the emotional accompaniment to the Take Back the Tour campaign and is strategically brilliant. Why? Because the Tour and the overall racing community has been blamed repeatedly for NOT closing the book on even banned athletes. sure, Landis loses his appeal, and Millar ate crow and came back clean to be a leader. but, we've yet to have someone say, "They are dead to us." "They are not winners." this is a way of drawing a line in the sand. those tour victories don't matter. the stage wins are empty. the last-minutes sprints meant nothing. i believe it's ballsy and brilliant.

at Barkley, we have a strong position on cause branding. that when you stand for something greater than your bottom line, people stand with you. Versus is standing for something huge here. sure, its advertisers might have hoped the doping would have been talked about briefly, then swept back under the rug. sure, its viewers might have mixed feelings about repeated dialog on this sore subject. but this campaign stands for something, and i believe it's a much-needed step.

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Blogger zmonteca said...

Any idea what the name of the song they play is called or the artist?

8:46 AM  
Blogger Andy Woolard said...

"Brand New Start" by Paul Weller. It's a goody.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

I noticed that in the commercial they are now running, they have replaced David Millar rolling back to the Time Trial start gate with Alexandre Vinokourov doing the same. My guess is that's a lot easier to pick on Vino than Millar who said and did all the right things following his positive test.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the concept for the commercial, but I understand why others wouldn't. Is there anyway to find out all of the names of the people in the commercial? I know the bulk of them, but there are some that I just don't know.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the guy stepping off of the podium with the child?

9:40 AM  
Blogger Garrett said...

Glad you're back Andy, its been a while.

In other news- my blog is so hot right now its crazy. A lot of traffic coming in and out of it. Its like a tunnel but not for trains or cars but for blog lovers. Yeah, for blog lovers.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous hinklemania said...

eric zabel steps off podium, off hand i don't remember a major doping scandal involving him, he may have admitted to past use?, this issue is not so black and white, writing athletes off entirely is mentally lazy, they dedicate their lives to the sport only to fail to reach the top step of the podium, they start to think it may never happen for them and seek another way to fulfill a lifelong dream, the temptation is great and i don't pretend to fully understand it never having been minutes away from a yellow jersey in paris and the glory, status, and financial freedom for my family that accompanies it. We all feel cheated a little but maybe we're cheating the athletes a little too. Maybe as spectators we need to appreciate and reward more than the yellow jersey. Maybe all of us need to evolve. In my opinion, every rider in this event is awe inspiring, i love the ad and think it's message is uplifting w/o turning a blind eye to the past. To me, the message is "We are not going to be victims of deception, instead we're empowered and we're taking the sport we love back." Beautiful. Now get away from the stupid computer and go ride.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

dopers are dropping like flies.

1:13 PM  

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