Schwinn Seeks to Ring In Brand Revival

Bicycle maker Schwinn is tapping into consumers’ childhood biking memories with a push designed to contemporize the brand.
The Dorel Industries-owned company has launched a TV and print campaign inviting folks to take a break from their harried lives and “go for a ride.” The creative, now breaking, uses Schwinn’s classic “br’ring-ding” bicycle bell to evoke stress-free, outdoor leisure.

A 30-second spot shows a woman lightly tapping her Schwinn bell while breezing through the neighborhood, passing by a boy playing with a PSP and kids on a tire swing. As the biker rings her bell and passes a businessman, his cellphone vanishes and he’s suddenly holding a dog and smiling. (The transition takes place as the lyrics “I think I found the answer in your smile” play on the soundtrack.)
Print ads running in Family Fun, Parenting, Shape and Working Mother amplify the same theme. One carries the phrase “NEVER stop and smell the CUBICLES” in giant, red-and-white outlined letters. Another says, “THE WORLD needs a recess BELL.”
Visitors to are greeted with the command, “GET OFF THE COMPUTER and get ON A BIKE.” The newly revamped site offers tips on selecting the perfect bike, as well as a store locator button. (Schwinn is sold in mass-market retailers like Walmart, Kmart and Target, and it competes alongside brands like Huffy, Trek and Specialized.)
An iPhone app offering fitness tips and other info launches soon.
Overall campaign spending is $5 million, the client said.
Cossette in New York is the brand’s creative agency. Coyne in Parsippany, N.J., handled PR duties.
Andrew Coccari, chief marketing officer for Dorel’s recreational and leisure division, said the campaign taps into the “great joy you get from getting on a bike and going on a ride. We’re taking this iconic brand back to where it started [and getting at] its roots.”
Though bicycling may be seen as mostly a childhood pastime, this effort targets adults—specifically, women ages 25 to 54—as females “have a larger influence on what activities get done” outside of the home, he said.
The effort also marks the first major push for Schwinn since it launched the Sting-Ray chopper-style bike in spring 2004. But that campaign was more product-focused, said Lori Heimerl, a senior marketing manager with Pacific Cycle, a division of Dorel that includes the Schwinn family.
“People are time compressed. But taking a hour or so on the weekend to ride a bike with the kids and enjoy some family time is healthy and good for you,” Coccari said of the campaign.
Dorel spent just $300,000 advertising Schwinn in 2008 and $100,000 in 2009, sans online, per Nielsen.

Publish date: April 22, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT