Lapierre’s newest model, Xelius, inspires riders to ‘Ride your next horizon’ in a highly-stylised new campaign. Duke Agyapong, a heavyweight in the cycling community, calls on riders to go beyond previous limitations.
Lapierre challenged Dept to launch their latest flagship model, the Xelius, across Europe with a campaign that resonated with riders while highlighting the brand’s core values: brand–design and performance. The target audience is a tight-knit, community of serious cyclists, so finding a unique way to generate cut-through was a must. Creating a visually distinctive campaign aimed at premium riders with a modest budget and media spend was a creative challenge in need of a big idea.
The creative idea ‘Ride your next horizon’ came out of the bigger brand platform ‘ride your next’, a mindset embodied by Lapierre’s premium cycling community. Lapierre riders don’t think about the terrain they’re tackling, the corner they’re rounding or the rider they’re passing. They are thinking about the next one. Our riders live for the moments when the riding gets tough. When their bodies want to stop and when the next kilometre seems impossible. That’s when they start searching within themselves for more. Our idea channelled the competitiveness of the community, but not with others, with themselves. Constantly pushing faster and higher with the horizon as the focal point, a destination they know they’ll never reach.
The ‘ever faster and ever higher’-mindset, bound to the niche community of premium cyclists, was distilled into ‘ride your next horizon’ and visually brought to life by a digital art installation, laser mapping, and a high-tech light installation.
– Manuel Di Tolve
The art direction was instrumental in bringing the creative idea to life while staying true to Lapierre’s brand values. The scenes were shot in a large film studio black box, where we built two digital art installations and worked with high-tech light design to create a juxtaposition between the bike’s USP and our hero’s emotional journey. The visual effects were used to resemble familiar scenery that a rider might experience. The visual light effects resemble seeing the sun on your horizon while riding, the pavement speeding by below your bike at top speed, and the heavy rain pouring down deep into a long ride.
The high-tech art installation projected a futuristic GPS-style landscape in front of the rider and visual effects were added to lay the futuristic GPS grid on top of real-life scenery. The well-thought-out alternation of blue and red throughout the film complemented low and high-intensity shots that simulated the calmness and toughness of a ride respectively. A range of emotions Lapierre riders are all too familiar with. The art direction successfully tailored the elements to Lapierre’s brand identity and values. The futuristic simulation aligned perfectly with the premium aesthetics people have come to expect from Lapierre.
The impact of the Xelius campaign has gone well beyond expectations. With budget and media spending limitations known from the start, targets were naturally toned down. However, with 80.000 views on YouTube (to date) without any media push or extra exposure, we’re feeling pretty proud of ourselves. The challenge of launching Lapierre’s new Xelius model resulted in a beautiful film with plenty of rewatch value.
The most noteworthy result of all was Lapierre fans repeatedly asking “when will the Xelius model be back in stock again?” on the brand’s social platforms. This outpouring from fans signals that the campaign successfully understood the cycling enthusiast and created a craving for them to ride their next horizon atop the Xelius.
The film’s impact was not going to be generated by star power. There was simply no budget available for that. What some may interpret as a limitation, was turned into a creative opportunity. While diving into the world of cycling, we quickly saw a shared mentality within this space for Lapierre to align with. On the road, and in their minds, Lapierre riders always focus on the horizon. The visual effects resembled familiar scenery and scenarios every rider will recognise. And partnering with cycling community native, Agyapong, allowed us to bring to life a genuine rider’s emotional journey in a credible way. The creative idea challenged riders to think about their next horizon, even when confronted with the film while sitting on the couch.
We found Duke Agyapong while deep-diving into the cycling community and came up trumps. Duke has built a humble yet dedicated following of aspiring cyclists through his inspirational stories and passion for cycling. The voice-over was co-written with Duke to ensure it resembled his character and felt genuine. Having used cycling as a platform to go places he never imagined possible; Duke’s story perfectly embodied the spirit of the campaign. His connection to the cycling community also extended the campaign’s reach and impact.
Creative Director at Brands & Advertising NL
Manuel Di Tolve
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