Like many of you who have been watching the Amgen Tour of California on TV, you probably sat up and took notice of a wild new ad from Spy Optics that features current National Road Champ Matt Busche heading out for some road miles before swerving off the pavement for some big off-road action that culminates in the RadioShack/Nissan/Trek rider pulling a sweet back-flip. Well, not really.
In case you missed the ad, here's the clip of National Champ Matt Busche
WHAT THE PREZ SAYS...
From the infamous 120 mile Belgian Waffle ride they sponsor to their active 'cross racing schedule, we know full well that the Spy guys are into all things drop bars and their sponsorship of Matt Busche is the icing on the cake.
To get the low down on the ad, we called Spy president Michael Marckx to find out how it came to be.
"Spy is a traditional road company and I actually had a few different ideas in mind about exposing our roots and to the road audience. Ultimately, this plan came together not only because it was in the Spy vein of extreme sports, but also because it was really the easiest to pull off...we had some ideas that were pretty out there! The original concept for the ad was to maintain a more seamless backdrop to the Matt riding his road bike whereby it would all take place within an urban landscape. It would've been more like a road to a skate park theme, but then the idea of off-roading came up which was pretty cool. We headed up to Latigo Canyon (in Malibu, CA) where we found the perfect canvas to create the montage we were looking for.
We only had a short window of time to get it done so we flew Matt out from Europe. Obviously we didn't expect Matt to make the flip so we hired Mike Montgomery who knows all about going over backwards on a bike. We scoured the Internet until we found some clip of a guy on a road bike doing a small back-flip and once we saw that we knew it could be done.
Mike had Specialized built up a 'cross bike for the jump. Besides the bike, the only thing we had to change for the shot was that Mike used flat pedals and since his arms are covered in tattoos, we had to have both of them wear arm warmers. Mike nailed it on the first jump. But he did it a bunch of - he even did a "superman" version on one. We have another video in the works that has all the outtakes in it.
Overall, we're really pleased with the video. Matt liked it too and thought it was a good way to promote his signature pair of ("Screw") glasses we sell."
WHAT MATT SAYS....
"It was a lot of fun to be part of the commercial, but I am hardly the star really! I would say my double, Mike Montgomery, was more the star. He simply made me look good. I was around for some of the filming with Mike, and all I can say is impressive! I can't even dream of doing what Mike did on the bike.
I was excited when Spy approached me with the ad concept. It reflects what Spy is about as a company: being new, innovative, and thinking outside the box. I really appreciate that attitude, and I hope everyone will get excited about the commercial and Spy as a company. The script was pretty well set by the time I was involved, but I certainly had some input into the final product. I was pumped for the commercial though when the original script was presented to me, so I didn't have to offer much input."
THE PRESS RELEASE...
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.
To see this commercial, go to www.spyoptic.com/performance or http://youtu.be/fPn4fDqL7f8. For a schedule of the live broadcast on NBC, go to http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/tv-schedule.html. For more information about SPY, log-on at www.spyoptic.com, www.facebook.com/spyoptic, Twitter @spy_optic and @spyoptic on Instagram.