Norco wants to democratize mountain biking

Who: Norco Bikes, with One Twenty Three West for strategy and creative, and LA-based Cantera Productions for production.

What: “Every Trail, and Every Rider,” a campaign promoting Norco’s Fluid mountain bike line-up, which is designed to appeal to both the “highest end” riders, as well as those who are new to the hobby.

When & Where: The campaign launched on July 27 and is running across Norco’s social and digital channels, with additional placements on websites catering to mountain biking enthusiasts.

Why: The campaign is intended to communicate that Norco’s Fluid bikes are suitable for both hard-core riders and those new to the hobby.

“The objective is to get people who were interested in mountain biking but intimidated by the culture around it to take the plunge, and take on or ignore some of the gate-keeping aspects of the sport,” said Jesse Wilks, associate creative director at One Twenty Three West. “So much of the culture of bikes in general is around ‘gearheads’ and getting super nerdy about the components etc. We wanted them to know the Fluid is a great bike that can take on whatever you need it to.”

“Our goal when starting the project is how do we make something that feels welcoming to people who may not see themselves in typical mountain bike marketing or content,” added One Twenty One West’s associate creative director, Gerardo Agbuya. 

How: The campaign is anchored by a 45-second animated video showing a Fluid bike being ridden by a variety of riders across different terrains. It’s built around what Wilks described as “digital collage art,” featuring digitally treated images of the B.C. mountains where Norco got its start. “Get a bike that gets you. Up here, through here, and down here,” says the voiceover. The spot is soundtracked by the song “On a Summer’s Day” by the band Memory Fields.

And we quote: “The world of mountain biking can occasionally feel pretty exclusive and have an element of gate-keeping to it. What’s awesome is that Norco isn’t just trying to make it more welcoming in its communications, but literally engineering their bikes to appeal to and accommodate a new set of riders.” — Jesse Wilks, associate creative director, One Twenty Three West

Chris Powell