Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rocky Mountain Bicycles: Mission Accomplished

As you all know by now, I'm not the bike geek of the group. Tim's mentioned before that I bring a unique perspective to the Krew because, well, I'm not a cyclist. I ride my bicycle. Sometimes. I'm what you would call a recreational rider. Plain and simple. It's why I actually like to look through Bicycling Magazine every month. It is written for folks like me. Velonews is for the true cyclists who love racing and love to follow the sport (ok, I read that, too...).

What does all of this fascinating personal tidbit mean? It means that I pay attention to the ads in Bicycling - ah-ha...this does have to do with marketing and not just my pitiful recreational riding!

Got the new Bicycling today and found an ad that is perfect in its simplicity. It reminded me that sometimes simple is better. As marketers we want our collateral pieces to say it all. Ads should give our full message and then some, right? After all we pay a lot of money for creative and then the ad buy - it should just sell our product right from the page, right? I mean...Right?! So we contort ourselves to be original and stand out in the crowd and jam it all in to one 8x10 page or one tri-fold brochure. Well, frankly, sometimes it gets cluttered and too much.

Then there are the ads that use the pro cyclists. Sure, they can be very simple - a pro crossing the line first in a stage of the latest tour using X product. Great...except that Suzi Recreational Cyclist (me and thousands like me) isn't going to be entering any races and she'll think it's too above her level (maybe she's right).

How do you get to everyone? Suzi Recreational and someone who is serious about riding, be that road or mountain bike? Easy. Find something simple and universal to hit upon in your ad or message. Yes, I know, easier said than done! But Rocky Mountain Bicycles has done just that in their latest ad, in my humble opinion.

The full-page ad is simply a picture of a hand - palm to the camera/viewer. Where there are life lines and such there are three bike tire treads. Two lines of copy at the bottom left corner simply say:

Hand-crafted bikes since 1981.
It's our life.

Wow. That says it all to me. This is a company with passion. Passion for cycling. Passion for the product they manufacture. It's not just a place that makes bikes for a living - this is a way of life for this company. It doesn't hurt that their website is either. Passion.

See? Packed a lot of message into one photo and two little lines. Ok, I don't know if that is what they were trying to convey or not, but it's good messaging even if this is slightly off what they had in mind. I have a great feeling about this company from their ad and, actually, went and checked out their website because I wanted to know more...yup, me...Suzi Recreational. They got me to go to their site because of their ad - mission accomplished. Ok, the full mission is to get the reader to buy the bike and I'm not going to do that because I don't need a new bike, but it doesn't mean that someone else who went to the site isn't going to go to their local shop and try a Rocky Mountain Bicycle.

Bravo to the Rocky Mountain Bicycle marketing team!

Posted by Donna Tocci at 3:08 PM


  1. Blogger Yokota Fritz posted at 12:19 AM  
    I think the Electra ads do a good job of communicating their message also.
  2. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 9:37 PM  
    I have a ten-year-old t-shirt that says on the back:
    "Put me back on my bike" The Last words of Tom Simpson.
    ...and on the front:
    Total dedication, Rocky Mountain Bicycles.

    So they are consistent, too.
  3. Blogger Tim Jackson posted at 9:19 PM  
    Donna- Great post! Yes, I like their ads too. They've always been very clever and have done some really good looking ads.

    Fritz- Yep. They are smart folks. I was at a beach festival today, just a mile or two away from Electra's HQ. There were a bunch of the Electra bikes there and I am almost positive that Electra paid for them to be there with some "pretty people" out to ride them through and around the very large crowds today... very clever. AND, the woman who used to do all of the PR/ Marketing is a friend of mine- Barbara Mizuno. She's one of the very best in the business.

    Jeff- I love that. I want that... can I have it? Yep, that is one of my very favorite cycling quotes. What an amazing image to use.

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