By Simon Smythe
British smart bike manufacturer Wattbike has launched a major brand campaign to challenge what it calls “penthouse perceptions of home cycling.”
No prizes for guessing which US smart bike rival company it appears to be taking aim at.
Wattbike's For Real Athletes campaign, which launched last night on Sky Sports alongside the World Cup qualifier games, as well as ITV Hub, is intended to be a glimpse into "a world of everyday and professional athletes" who are, according to Wattbike’s press release, "finding unique ways to integrate Wattbikes into their lives and routines to achieve their fitness goals."
Serving up what Wattbike calls “a very British antidote to a category awash with pristine portrayals of home fitness, the 30-second video, which was created by ad agency Matta, includes “real people” - including a nurse - working out after her shift, a dad squeezing in a session before breakfast while his son makes toast, and a woman using an ironing board as a tablet stand while someone else does the ironing.
As for the pro athletes, we see Wattbikes in the All Blacks’ training camp - to whom Wattbike is the official performance bike supplier.
Wattbike continues: “In golden moments that will be entirely relatable to millions of serious home fitness enthusiasts, we see waistbands being unceremoniously hiked up, shorts being released from the saddle trap and household distractions being drowned out to acknowledge that the road to fitness perfection isn’t always perfect.”
Amy Johns, Marketing Director at Wattbike, said; “This campaign captures the very heart of Wattbike. Whether you’re an All Black or just always trying to improve, we see everyone who can ride a Wattbike as an athlete and that’s what drives us to make the best smart bikes in the world.
“Our research told us that there’s millions of people who are serious about getting fitter and are increasingly choosing to do that in their own home - but they also want a product that they can invest in for a lifetime of gains. This campaign underlines that Wattbike is a tool that can stretch and adapt to any fitness goal and, most importantly, it delivers proven results in the real world.”
According to Wattbike, the pandemic has also driven a new consumer to indoor cycling - one that doesn’t strive to reach the pinnacle of performance but simply wants to use the very best bike at home to fast track their fitness.
Ed Hughes, chief marketing officer at Wattbike, added, “Whilst we know the prevailing winds of the industry tempt us to believe every smart bike deserves its own hand-crafted plinth on a balcony overlooking a famous landmark, we know our customers have just one goal - to get fitter. That’s why we’ve chosen to celebrate their determination and commitment in an authentic way and create a new community of Real Athletes with this campaign.”
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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