Lockdown creativity: How Le Col launched its summer clothing line
Simon Creasey, chief marketing officer at Le Col describes how the cycling clothing brand has managed to drive media campaigns during lockdown with unique creative
Media and marketing folk have all become experts in adapting and improvising over the last year, juggling new work-life balances and keeping fit in interesting ways. Some brands have had to cancel launch plans due to travel bans and lockdown whilst others have flourished through taking a path less trodden.
Here at Le Col, one of the UK’s leading cycling clothing brands, we've taken a unique approach to help launch our Summer kit.
In cycling marketing, there is always an emphasis on place. From Alpine climbs to mallorcan tarmac, part of the appeal is a two-wheeled adventure in stunning or iconic surroundings. However, during a time of travel restrictions and social distancing, marketing photoshoots of riders in shorts sleeves taking on switchbacks in grand and exotic destinations abroad were clearly going to be out of the question.
So, staying true to our UK heritage, Le Col staged photos showing cycling’s biggest tests surrounded by some of the beauty that can be found closer to home - mixing the iconic climbs of the French Alps with the lapping waves of the South East coast, as well as the idyllic surroundings of Stelvio Pass with the foggy hillsides of Kent.
Our entrepreneurial spirit enables the team to be agile with campaigns so fortunately, we were able to adapt at lightning pace to build this campaign that reflects the current Zeitgeist with creative that will differentiate.
For a small marketing team that has to compete as a challenger brand, this approach is vital.
Le Col is showing its kit is as good for local loops as it is for the roads further afield. Of course, in the true fashion of the past year, turbo trainers and rollers were also on hand, and for those who have been stuck in a smelly garage all winter this campaign might encourage people to get out into the great British countryside.
The campaign is also a nod to the separation and distance between the local roads in the UK and the dream routes from cycling’s biggest races that fuel our imaginations.
As Le Col founder and ex professional cyclist Yanto Barker, says,
“It has been challenging to launch our new kit in the way we have done in previous years. Instead of fighting it, or looking for loopholes, we decided to embrace it and show off our creative side.
“Whilst the sun hasn’t always shined through lockdown, cycling has been a ray of light for many. Mental and physical health benefits have helped to find some brightness in the dark, and we wanted our new season launch to speak to the thousands of people who have had to get creative and adapt their riding to do what they love"
The campaign is being used across paid digital channels including Facebook and Instagram as well as in social posts and across Le Col owned media channels.
We're also one of many e-commerce brands that is now utilising TV and this campaign sees us, for the first time, move into TV spot advertising with Eurosport and Sky AdSmart.
For the many media and marketing cyclists out there, we hope this creative acts, not only as inspiration to get out on your bikes, bit also to get the creative juices flowing so that we stop seeing creative advertising that features another Zoom call going wrong.
For more brand stories and inspiring tales of creative marketing, register for The Future of Brands and The Future of Marketing events, being held on the 21 and 22 of April.