Ivan Basso’s National Appeal

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.

Cancellara broth

Yes, that really is “Cancellara broth”.

23 thoughts on “Ivan Basso’s National Appeal”

  1. I very recently tried some Cancellara Bouillon at the Berner Rundfahrt, sold by the Cancellara4ever fan club. According to them, its ‘his doping’ and he drinks it after every ride.
    Its not bad, by the way.

  2. Ivan Basso’s the most boring “star” in cycling. I still remember meeting some folks from Varese (his town) who couldn’t remember his name while he was serving his suspension for “thinking about” transfusing blood banked with Dr. Fuentes. Had to wonder if he’s crossed paths with “Purito” on the way into or out of that office in the past? Scarponi’s certainly been there a time or two. And why is Basso promoting a FRENCH car anyway? In this Giro I’m rooting for Hesjedal. A Canadian winner can’t hurt the Giro’s worldwide appeal and ANYBODY else seems to have more personality than Basso – though on today’s post-race show he actually smiled and joked a wee bit. Maybe he’ll show some grinta in the next few days as he might need some time cushion over the Canadian on Sunday?

    • I have a question for you Mr. LarryT. I keep seeing sings showing ” W il Giro” during the broadcasts. What does the W stand for?
      The decision to make those broadcasts available for everyone to see on the net was pure genius, the action sprinkled with the names of the riders make knowing Italian almost superfluous. The helicopter pilots also are second to none.
      As for the most boring cycling star I think Bradley Wiggins would give Ivan Basso a slow, well protected, sixth in line run for the title. Since my French riders are out of contention I will cheer for Benat Intxausti and Pozzovivo!

      • Pete was ready-to-go with a response while I was no doubt sleeping. Wiggins is up there in the boring category for me too but ALL the “hang in there in the mountains and kill ’em in the chrono” types are pretty much the same – this for me includes BigMig and in the latter part of his career, even Greg LeMond at times. Being in the biz of sharing Italian cycling opportunities with paying customers, I’m very happy the Giro/RCS decided to provide the live streaming, etc. vs the years of demanding what seemed to be way-too-much for broadcast rights. They finally switched from the attitude they were selling tickets to an event to one where they give the “product” away in order to put the advertising in front of aavid worldwide audience. This includes the “most beautiful place” angle as well. As you noted, the scenery shot from the air has been pretty spectacular, particularly yesterday in the Dolomites. We hope the good weather continues through Sunday, and even longer as we have clients arriving this weekend for cycling in the Monferrato hills.

    • I have to agree that Basso’s not the most charismatic “big name” in cycling. And the Sidi ad speaks for itself, ridiculous. Could they not come up with something better than putting Basso and Nibali in this dull-witted ad? What Basso does have going for him besides his palmares is the fact that he smiles all the time — people like that — even when he’s racing, the camera flashes on him and he smiles.

      Hesjedal, though not on my original podium, could easily have been. Progressively making a name for himself, he’s really showing what he’s made of in this Giro. 2011 was not like the fantastic 2010 that he had with 6th GC in the TdF. Love that he’s Canadian — what a national hero he’ll be come Sunday if he wins this Giro! Ryder should do very well with his endurance in the big mountains tomorrow and Saturday. Can’t wait for the Stelvio. Who will still have good legs? If he can pick up more time over Basso on the descents (and the climbs, of course), then his final ace-in-the hole is his TT skills. We’ll see which domestiques still have it to pull for their GC riders the next couple of days! Liquigas is a heck of a team.

      Go Ryder!

    • Larry, didn’t Pantani also do a french car company? Wasn’t it the basis for some of his conspiracy theories – that FIAT was somehow involved in the Madonna di Campiglio “situation”?

  3. Basso is a gentelman, maybe not honest, not sincere but cordial nonetheless. Nowdays if you want interesting you need a rebel with a sh..t load of talent and will speak his mind. Most of the younger guys are robots, boring and programmed. Boring!

    In Belgium cycyling stars are regulars in national ad campaigns. Not sure what the point is with this post….?

  4. The Cancellara bouillon is nice. lecker! :o) Btw, you forgot to mention the Tommeke Tom Boonen pasta (noodles I think if I remember correctly, but couldn’t find it on the net anymore) that could be bought in Belgium a few years ago. But then again, these guys have to make money during the few years they are popular. Already tomorrow they could have their career ended in a crash.

  5. Mr. Armstrong has been in several campaigns on TV in the USA for products such as beer (Michelob Ultra “near beer”), cars (Subaru), pharma (Bristol-Myers-Squibb, maker of the chemo for his testicular cancer), and sports apparel (Nike). Of course , these slowed down after his retirement, and his sponsorship opportunities seemed to have gone away like his federal investigation!

  6. To Anonymous:
    In the words of Charlie from Willy Wonka: “Candy doesn’t have to have a point.”

    /Go Ryder Go! But only if you can keep it together on Friday and Saturday.

    Just curious…are the doping controls in the Giro as strict as those in the TdF?

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