Halford’s ‘Tour De Francis’ Amplifies ITV Tour Deal

Halfords is running an innovative campaign to amplify its sponsorship of ITV’s coverage of this year’s the Tour de France by using web films to help people experience the race from an amateur cyclist’s perspective.


So Halfords and their creative agency DLKW Lowe created their own mini Tour featuring four of the stages from the 2012 race. They found an amateur rider, 29-year-old Dan Francis, who works for a large pharmaceutical company, equipped him with a Halford’s own brand Carrera bike and then filmed his cycle through the a mountainous 2,000 mile journey over three weeks.


The campaign culminated in a 15-minute film called ‘The Tour de Francis’.


The video traces his entire journey, including showing him narrowly avoiding an avalanche, from the first pedal rotation on the prologue, through mountain stages and the finish on Paris’ Champs Elyse’s.


It was promoted by a short, online trail film.


While the whole film is available via he retailer’s Facebook page.



Luckily Dan didn’t experience any fans throwing carpet tacks on the road and completed his branded personal Tour with just one single puncture.


Halfords has cut the film into bumper style clips for its 24 sponsor idents which sandwich all the ad breaks in ITV live race coverage and highlights package, but also seeded films of the race online and created an online hub for the documentary style campaign.


Each idents display the Halfords sponsorship message and drive consumers to the campaigns online hub at www.Halfords.com/TourDeFrancis


Halfords is using its Twitter and Facebook channels to promote the online films as well as following the real Tour de France via its social media channels and also running ongoing comparison between Dan’s experience and the real Tour.


A branded Tumblr blog also provides additional behind-the-scenes insight from the Tour de Francis, along with photos and videos from the shoot.


‘I never thought I’d be doing anything like this. I’ve never been up mountains before; didn’t know my legs would take me up there, the stamina I found in my legs that I didn’t know I had and the ability to keep digging and digging,’ explains Francis. ‘When you’ve got that team car behind you and their egging you on and encouraging you- it’s just incredible.’




The Tour De France is not only cycling’s most famous event, but it is probably the world’s most viewed annual sporting event with 15 million people watching the race live on the route last year and global TV audiences rising to 50 million for the biggest individual stages.


And this campaign seems to understand what attracts so many fans to the race. The breathtaking physical ability of the riders is a key connectors with fans who themselves have a direct experience of riding a bike and wonder whether they could ride the routes.


For many fans, at least those who don’t try actually try out a stage or two for themselves, it is the idea that an amateur like them could ride the toughest stages of the world’s most prestigious cycling event that is part of the emotional engagement.








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