The Hard Road

Bell's new Brand story connecting in a new way.

When people think of road racing, especially stage racing like Le Tour de France, most picture a group of riders pedaling through pastoral settings of the Old World, clad in garish, skin-tight suits. It’s usually mid-summer, and riders are seemingly pampered and catered to for three weeks. Only those in the know can read the intricacies of races like these.

Bell’s Reinvigorated Brand

Bell Helmets was working to bring their Brand story back to its roots. They are about grit, fearlessness, history and innovation. How do you bridge spandex, strict dieting and compression tights with a Brand that seems like it is completely unrelated?

Strategy

Our friends at Nemo Design approached to help them translate the amazing brand identity work they had done to video. The goal was to make a connection between the European cycling Classics, races that most Americans know nothing about, and Bell’s hard-nosed new brand. Nemo worked extremely hard to help Bell get their Brand back. The pressure was on for us to appeal to cyclists who identified with Bell’s blue-collar story.

The narrative was rock solid! Loved it!

gotravvytube via Google+

The Day

The Classics are steeped in cycling history. Broken bones, busted wheels, dirt, and blood. The Classics are brutal. They turn professional cyclists into mincemeat.  Fans cheer them on the whole way, fueled by beer, cigarettes, and a desire to see their favorite riders speed past.

The shooter (Chris Milliman) and Nemo’s Art Director shipped themselves third-class over to Europe to capture as much footage as they could. We created ¬†shot wish-lists to help us piece together a story not only about the racing, but the carnival setting that takes place around it. Fast driving ensued. Footage was captured. Drives were shipped overnight, dented and dirty.

Post

With a pile of footage to wade through, and a nebulous story at this point, we had our work cut out. A ton of effort was put forth to make this piece what it is. We used existing branding elements to create historical graphic elements, blending them seamlessly into footage. All the while, the Brand being our guiding light.

Voice Narration was added to educate and create a sense of grit. A subdued color grade was added, inspired in part by Michael Kenna and Bell’s new greyscale, half-tone look.

Success

This video helped put Bell back on the minds of road cyclists. Prior to this, they were the product of their own price-point success. Kids helmet sales help pay the bills, but putting the effort into engineering and a core understanding of the market gives Bell legitimacy. The video was picked up and shown in cool cycling venues, magazines and was shared by numerous online users.

Nice work guys, using it on our web site to highlight the Gage.

GloryCycles via Google+

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