I’m Ivan Basso. I’m looking for real men who don’t worry about being tired, who are ready to ride many kilometres on the road with the desire to finish first.
No, he’s not looking for new riders. Instead this is a radio advert with Ivan Basso promoting French car maker Citroen’s utility vehicles for small businesses and he wants “traders, artisans, entrepreneurs for Citroen’s commercial vehicles“. The full audio clip is here on youtube:
It’s of minor interest because it is rare these days to see a cyclist in a national advertising campaign. It’s happened in the past but today’s riders are more likely to fry their cycling shoes or even lend their image to sell beach towels but here we have Basso’s voice as central to mixing the idea of riding across Italy with selling vans.
Beyond this Mark Cavendish is advertising shampoo in Britain. And five times Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain looks uneasy peddling dairy products with supposed cholesterol reducing claims:
In addition there are some Olympic promotions in Britain with the medal hopefuls like Victoria Pendelton, Chris Hoy and Shanaze Reade doing some national campaigns too, testimony to the way the sport is rising there. These are all prime time ad campaigns that rely in part upon the recognition of the athlete to help promote a product or brand.
There are of course other product endorsements which don’t involve national TV ad campaigns. Thanks to a reader perhaps the oddest one is Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara fronting for Oswald’s vegetable bouillon.
Yes, that really is “Cancellara broth”.