Unicycle commercial

I had fun with many other unicyclists being part of a new Qualcomm commercial.


Unicycling is always the class clown to be made fun of


That’s a pretty good commercial, but kind of a weird product to advertise. If you’re in the market for a 5g commercial modem presumably you have an engineering or IT department that makes those decisions. It kind of reminds me of the Boeing commercials from 20 years ago.

It is actually a fair bit more specialised than that even – it is for chips, not complete systems for user use. I’d say it is is pretty cool to see an advert for something like this, it is quite niche, but it is an enormous market.

So, how many “takes” did it take for everyone to remember how to ride like a “beginner”, again.
I’m sure the director wasn’t pleased with the first take.


I would rather go for a unicycle than a tandem, so no 5G for me then :wink:


I’m not sure what to think of this…

The advert is suggesting that unicycling is crap (which we know is not true).
They might just as well have gone to the nearest circus and used a few clowns to make that point. It seems a bit lazy to me.

You need to look at this in the context of what they are promoting – as I see it, the unicyclists represent separate chips in your 5G system which work okay themselves but need to be linked up – modem to RF chip (ie radio). It all seems a bit shaky connecting these two barely stable things together (the two folk linking arms) – then along comes their integrated modem-RF platform – already connected, easier to get going, stable and fast compared to connecting two individual chips up.

I don’t think it is trying to belittle unicycling and say it is rubbish, just that if you buy their integrated platform it is easier, less learning curve, faster and more stable – which quite frankly is probably correct (from both the perspective of modem/radio integration and the unicycle/tandem analogy).

Overall I think it is a pretty good comparison from the perspective of being an unicyclist, tandemist and engineer…


Thanks for the explanation. A very limited audience would have understood this issue and cared.


I’m pretty sure it’s a reference to what we’d call “the handshake” in my own industry. It refers to two different electronic devices establishing communications between each other. That’s why the unicycles. They appear unstable and the connection looks tenuous, whereas the tandem is one unit and doesn’t need a handshake at all.

Exactly – they’ve hooked the hardware up, whether in a package or module, and also done a bunch of software integration (I would expect). 5G probably seems like such a big opportunity for things like cellular connected IoT devices that they’ve gone a bit more “mainstream” with pushing stuff rather than the “traditional” way semiconductor companies peddle their wares (pun intended :wink:)

If you want to take the analogy in the other direction and extol the benefits of a unicycle over a tandem, you could argue that the unicycle is more flexible because, with sufficient skill, effort and persistence you can do things a tandem can’t (I don’t think you can hop a tandem!)… so if you have separate devices you can maybe get more innovative, differentiated, solutions. I don’t think Qualcomm marketing/advertising people are thinking that way though :grinning:

Ha! We’re old-school modems! When we fall down, we screech and make other odd noises!

While Duff has explained what is probably the precise intent of the imagery, even the non-technical viewer will get the idea of the old “hardware” being slow and unsteady, while the tandem cruises effortlessly by them, with it’s two good-looking models riding it.

And while the unicyclists were of mixed age, I definitely got the impression they were generally of an older generation than the bicyclists; old tech. If it were a commercial about unicycling, it would suck. but it’s instead using unicycles as a metaphor for the idea they are expressing. And I think it works.

In a different commercial, the unicycles could be the ones ridden by the good-looking models (very difficult to cast, BTW), and riding smoothly and effortlessly through intricate twists and turns that the rival tandem can’t negotiate without having to stop and lift up the wheels. Fill in the blank with what technology or idea could be expressed by that. :slight_smile:

That’s one of the cool things about being a unicyclist in the LA area, especially if you can create your own work schedule; you can go to auditions and be in commercials or other TV/movie projects!


I would like to see a downhill race on a steep and stony path between munis and tandems. Maybe there is a reason why I have never seen any Mtandems… :thinking:…haven’t seen any street tandems doing tricks like riding on railings or doing flips while jumping down stairs either… Maybe 5G is just for speed in simple reliable predictable topography. :wink:

I’d rather be a separate modem and have more fun than being tied to a rf-chip.
Always riding behind my partner with a view only to his back seems not so attractive.
Nobody wants to sit only inches behind me when I work on full power sweating as hell.

They’re rare but they do exist and have been used at least twice in the Absa Cape Epic here in South Africa
MTB tandem


I’m glad to see that this short spot has sparked so much interesting discussion.


The tandem looks even weirder than the unicycles. They should have used a group of tempo cyclists. But of course, then the commercial would only have been 2 seconds long.

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Maybe there is, but I don’t know which reason this might be. At the MTB-races I competed at were always some tandems.

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John, the average age of the unicyclists was 20s to early 30s, with the exception of myself and maybe one or two others, and overall most of the riders were attractive and athletic.

Hmmm, so the message of the commercial is that 5G is a lot faster but slower radio technology is a lot more fun.

I think I totally agree with this commercial. I not only ride unicycles I also just got my Ham Radio license a month ago… :yum: