Jack Supple, Creative Director
Kerry Casey, Creative Director/Copywriter
Jim Keane, Art Director
Jim Arndt, Photographer
The objective was a heady one: to reestablish a company's image.
As part of its emergence from bankruptcy, Schwinn had to convince the "wrenches, as they call them-the guys with the rock-hard quads and the Fu Manchus," that the brand was worth recommending, says Kerry Casey of Carmichael Lynch. "They thought Schwinn was lame."
This target audience works at bike shops and influences 80% of purchase decisions. To reach them, ads needed to reflect "the geometry of the bikes-clean and easy to use," Mr. Casey says. They also had to meet the skepticism head-on, which they did through the tag line: "Schwinn Quality. Established 1895. Re-established 1994."
The agency knew it had achieved some degree of success when, a month after the ads began appearing in vertical books such as Bicycling and VeloNews, the client reported seeing the first ad-headlined, "No calves, no glory"-tacked up in a bike shop.
"You know when you said that great ads were the ones people tore out and hung on the wall?" a Schwinn executive reportedly said to the creative team. "Well, you weren't lying."