We all know men are the biggest segment in cycling – and the vast proportion of marketing and advertising is directed at them.
Ads usually feature male riders they can identify as themselves and their riding buddies. This isn’t just the case for clothing, but also bikes made to fit men and women, tyres that we all use, nutrition products we all eat, events we all enter, and tools we all use.
Traditionally, women feature in ads or marketing material aimed at women only, and are expected just to accept that the male dominated ads are designed to be applicable to them, even if they don’t find themselves connecting with anyone in the image.
Bianchi flipped that on its head with their Infinito CV video advert. The two minute long video features a female rider throughout, but it’s not just speaking to women – it’s selling the Infinito CV model, available for men in a unisex model and specced for women with fit adjustments.
Bianchi are effectively questioning the status quo, and it wasn’t even intentional. The advert was initially created to advertise the women’s version of the bike – but when the heads of the company watched it, their reaction was “the video makes me want to ride my bike!" – irrespective of gender.
"The simplicity of the ad makes it even more bold."
Asked about the video, Bianchi sponsored triathlete Helen Croydon told us: "Cycling, like most endurance sports, is still seen as predominantly male, so to use a woman as the central character is a bold move. The simplicity of the ad makes it even more bold. We follow a female cyclist getting up, alone, preparing her bike, alone, riding out in the open roads, looking strong, happy, fast and self-sufficient. It’s great to see that because that is indeed what many women do on a Saturday morning!"
We’ve seen magazines, event ads and brand ads selling unisex products feature men and not a single woman, but rarely if ever do we see a brand feature a woman alone with the aim of speaking to both sexes. The tables are certainly tipping to a more equal level, and Bianchi are helping.