San Diego-based eyewear brand SPY® released an extremely unusual TV commercial spot that airs this week during the Tour of California (ToC) bike race. The unique 30-second spot running on NBC Sports’ coverage of the ToC, features huge airs and a high flying backflip on a road bike—maneuvers usually only attempted on much beefier equipment like motocross, BMX and freestyle mountain bikes
“We intended this spot to be a playful expression of SPY’s youthful, irreverent point of view by bringing an action sports approach to road cycling, as well as sending a ‘Youth Against the Old Guard’ message,” explains Michael Marckx, SPY President and creative mind behind the concept. “The idea appeared simple on paper, but required the right team to pull it off—from the athletes to our director Jason Baffa, and his incredible people behind the lens and in the editing bay.”
Based on SPY athlete and 2011 USA Pro Cycling Road Race Champion Matthew Busche (Team Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek), the commercial kicks off with what he does daily—training. To be the best in pro road racing requires tremendous focus and hard work—which equates to pain. To get through it, Busche says, “Sometimes I go into what I call the ‘Pain Cave.’ There, my mind drifts in and out of daydreams—and I try to think about anything else to get my mind off the burn.”
Told through the prism of Busche’s daydream, viewers journey with him as he imagines hitting the alluring trails of California’s coastal mountain ranges and doing some crazy stuff on a bike strictly built for pavement. SPY asked its mountain bike freestyle rider Mike Montgomery (Team Specialized, SPY and Monster Energy) to stunt double for Busche’s wildest fantasies of doing things on his road bike that no one ever does
“The idea seemed pretty crazy at first,” explains Montgomery, who is a pro at doing similar tricks on freestyle mountain bikes built to take abuse from hard landings.”Right up until moments before cameras began rolling, we weren’t sure if I was going to break the frame or taco the tire. The bike Specialized made for me held up perfectly on flips, super flips and spins. It was fun making this commercial with SPY, and I think people are going to really trip out when they see it.”
The SPY “Flip” commercial will air several times daily through the remainder of the TOC event, where Busche will play an important role for Team Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek.
Look for SPY on-site at the Tour of California: Friday, May 18 in Big Bear Lake; Saturday, May 19 in Mt. Baldy; Sunday, May 20 in Los Angeles.