Halfords: Tour de Francis

  • Jonny Watson
  • Dan Harrison

A TV idents brief that grew into a 15-minute documentary. 6 days, 3 countries, 2 Alps and 1 puncture.

Halfords were sponsoring ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and wanted to use it to promote the Carrera Virago, a carbon fibre bike that cost just under a grand. We decided to use 4 stages of that year's tour as the ultimate testing ground / showroom, to see if an amateur rider (Dan Francis) and his Carrera could handle it - or if one or both would break. We made an emotive 15-minute documentary, shot across 6 gruelling days in the UK, Belgium and France, and used the 24 TV idents as mini-trailers for the online film. We designed the livery, the kit, everything. The campaign gained coverage in the cycling and mainstream press, including the Evening Standard - something most idents don't really get. We went out with 3 bikes and despite tearing it up over the cobbles of Liege, up two Alps and through the centre of Paris, all we got was got a single puncture. Anti-climactic or what...
"This is brilliant! Every tour fan's fantasy, to have a tour car and crew, to ride the stages of the TDF. Nice job on the footage. Well done."
Vimeo comment from Lindsey O'Grady
The route took us through 3 countries over 6 days. Brutal for Dan. Less so for us, in the heated leather seats of the brand new car Skoda lent us.