Throwback Thursdays: 1996 Speedmaster Ad in Dirt Rag

29 January, 2015

When I first saw this ad, touting lovely Speedmaster brakes and GripMaster pads I'd happily repurpose to my cross bike today, I was captured by the beautiful landscape and marveled that there must have been the marketing budget to send a team down the coast to Big Sur in 1996, armed with a Galen Rowell type photographer harnessed and mid rappel off an alarming overhang, to get the shot, just right.

Surely there was a harness involved... and don't call me Shirley

But I was wrong.  Squinting like a raisin, I read that the location was listed as more or less our backyard and the photographer was probably a really good friend of WTB who kindly, knowingly didn't charge us as much as he should have.  He may or may not have owned a harness.

Then I found some clues, like this:


An inviting spur, just off the observation deck, beyond the railing that acts as a mom arm - don't go over there, you'll fall off the cliff!

But wait, there was more:



WTB's Marketing Director at the time, more brave than the mom arm railing, assessing the lay of the land, formulating thoughts of artistry, mid head scratch.

Better vertical or horizontal?  How would it look through the camera?

Perhaps from further back and, yes, yes, aha, lower!

It worked out.  The ad looked splendid and certainly had me fooled, lost in rappelling cliffs, harnesses, and fading light.  This is something that still happens today, we do it our way, we visualize and work with very talented people who believe in us and generously understand that though we have global reach, we're not a massive company.  We think, explore, regroup, and set out.  It happened back then, it still happens today.  Here's to more creative thinking and working in the stunning landscape we're blessed with.  Happy Thursday. 

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