Volvo and unicyclists

Volvo developed anticollision technology for cyclists, including unicyclists, see here

Clever. Nice use of a unicycle in advertising. (Too bad the guy riding isn’t actually playing the sousaphone. Watch his fingers.)
I was hoping they would show a Volvo actually avoiding a collision with the guy.

Lol, that was weird.

He’s a pretty good rider, being able to hold a smooth line with that sousaphone. It’s asking a lot to find a unicyclist that can ride with a sousaphone and also play one. :slight_smile:

So how does the Volvo detect cyclists (without sousaphones)? The cool thing about that little ad is it makes me want to find out!

Is there going to be a rash of sousaphone-playing unicyclists hitting the streets trying to get hit by Volvos now?

Is that noise they added to the video supposed to be far off seagulls or are they saying that the uni is making that squeaking noise?

I like my unis silent. Me on the other hand…

I’ve been noting for years that so few tv commercials actually demonstrate their product in a real life situation. Instead they opt for some outrageous unrealistic scenario to get a laugh. It drives me crazy because I’m often left questioning what the product’s true nature is, and they’ve lost me. In this case a realistic scenario shot from the driver’s perspective would speak to me more effectively.
Kind of makes me frustrated. Arg!! I hate these commercials. I hate Volvo! Is that the result they wanted? :wink:

What? Are you making a squeaking noise? :slight_smile:

Lol, they probably didn’t realize how many unicyclists there are to get mad out there.

playing brass on a unicycle is hard (I tried but not with my sousaphone: I will avoid breaking it).
now in the rehearsal room for the Leland Stanford Marching Band there is picture of a lady riding AND playing the sousa! (there is also on the web a picture of -same?- lady somewhere on a beach)
well you need to have very precise lips (and “buccinator” muscles)

Thought something like this would happen.
searched for sousaphone unicycle on and the firstpic was from burning man festival.



P.S.:Quick glance on th einternet reveals that there are plenty of people playing the sousaphone and riding a unicycle.


I’m going to step aside and let someone else have the honor of that job.

This is true. I think there are a few reasons why an advertiser might do this:

  • Make it interesting: Driving a Volvo is supposed to be (mostly) boring. The car isn't supposed to break down, isn't supposed to kill you if you crash, isn't made for a race track, etc. So we can see the car driving down the street, but if it's interacting with a cyclist it means the car will be going pretty slow (so the narration can keep up), etc.
  • Protect seller from liability: If you don't show what the thing is supposed to do, there's less leverage for someone to complain that it didn't work as depicted in the ad?
  • To leave a lasting impression. Advertising is not direct. Sometimes what works is very non-obvious! If you make people remember the ad, or get them to talk about it, it's usually a good thing for your brand.

I’m guessing you are not their target audience. :slight_smile:

The fact that we are still talking about it means it’s in our minds. So it might be very effective. I have a feeling they know what they are doing since they’re still in business.

the link links to other videos: I think it is harder to play the trombone on a unicycle (the lips must be more precise …) playing (well) a trumpet should be harder.

LOL - I was asked to do this commercial…!
But initially they wanted to record it on cobblestones.

But who was it? It’s very likely a Dutch rider.
The recording was in Maastricht, the talent agency was from Amsterdam.

Ah now I remember! I forgot about this, but last July, I got a tip from a connection in the circus world that this agency was looking for a unicyclist, 30+ age, who could ride a unicycle very well and was able to hold a very large object while riding. It was added that this was for a viral video commercial for a car brand. I declined to do this myself but forwarded this to a rider I know who happens to live near Maastricht. He let me know that he got a deal with them indeed. Of course I know this name but I’m not sure if he would like to have it here in full.

I have to see that video again, now that I know the rider.

It isn’t the rider I thought after all. He told me that a rider from the “Randstad” (specific Dutch urban area) was chosen instead. Unknown to him. The rider’s face is visible in the video but I don’t recognise him either.

I play all three instruments, although only tried the trumpet on a unicycle (see video below.) Even though the size of the mouthpieces are different, you still need to hold them in a precise spot against your lips and any jarring is going to affect the continuity of the tone. But I found I could play while unicycling about as well as playing while walking (aka marching band).

This video was shot when I had been riding uni for about 4 or 5 weeks (hence I was still wearing wrist guards and a helmet.) Check out the 28-second mark for a failed free mount, followed by sacrificing the body to save the trumpet. Needless to say, shortly after this incident, I learned how to free mount without having to grab the wheel. :slight_smile:

Oops, I forgot to embed the vid for your convenience.