Mountain biking hits mainstream TV with the latest advert from Lloyds bank, which stars a number of British mountain bikers.
Keep your eyes peeled if you’re in the UK as mountain biking is featured in a new advert from Lloyds Bank. The ad charts the story of a girl who gets into mountain biking, overcoming obstacles and developing skills as she rides, and features a number of British mountain bikers, including Katy Curd and Nina Cameron. We spoke to them to find out what it was like, and what it means to them to see mountain biking on the small screen in such a prominant way.
Katy Curd was the mountain bike advisor for the advert, which was partly filmed in and around Leith Hill near Dorking on the outskirts of London, UK. The ex-World Cup downhill and World Champion Fourcross racer’s role was also expanded to stunt double, as she is the rider seen flying out into the air off a jump in the adverts’ climactic finish, surrounded by the iconic black horses – the logo of the bank.
“I had an email from the production company Adam&Eve and thought it was a scam email to start with,” Curd explains, when asked about how it all came about, “but I researched them a little bit and found them to be legit so replied and then with in a few hours was chatting to them on the phone, and then a couple of days later had a meeting with the producer. They apparently just found me through researching mountain bike coaches!”
“The production company wanted a person to make sure the advert was authentic so my job was to advise on how the MTB scenes looked, help co-ordinate the the riders, and be a voice between the director and the riders/actors. The production company had a huge team behind the horses, a team for the drone etc so wanted someone for the bikes too.”
It’s amazing to see a huge company like Lloyds using a female role in the commercial, but also having mountain biking in a main stream advert – Katy Curd
And what about that dramatic shot with the horses – did that actually happen or was it created through the magic of editing. “I actually rode with the horses,” explains Curd. “It was amazing, exciting and scary all at the same time! A couple of scenes we did I was trying to sprint after the horse and they obviously are unpredictable so sometimes Ludo the horse decided against where he was supposed to go!”
Also starring in the advert is Nina-Yves Cameron. Based in Fort William, Scotland, Cameron is a junior downhill racer and has competed in the British Cycling Dirt Crit Races, the Highland Hardline series, Scottish and UK National downhill series, as well as numerous rounds of the UCI DH MTB World Cup. In the film, she plays an older version of the girl.
“It was really interesting to see how the advert was put together and what it’s like on the production side of the screen,” Cameron commented, sharing her experience of what it was like to film the advert. “The crew were all amazing! Before we started the filming I did a few zoom calls with the director and some of the production crew, where they explained the concept and went over some of the scenes we would be working on. Seeing the storyboard and having had these chats really helped but I was still shocked by how they put the final edit together.”
“Before we started filming we had a trip down to London to meet with the girls in Wardrobe who were lovely, such good fun! The whole crew were really nice, always checking on us to make sure we were ok, and warm enough. It was really cold, they looked after us so well. I don’t think I ever imagined just how much goes into making an advert or how many people are involved.”
I’d love for this advert to be the spark that kindles the love of mountain biking for some girls – Nina Cameron
“There were quite a few other riders there, which you can see in part of the advert. It was really good to meet them, some new friends and a couple I know. Working with Katy Curd was really good fun, and also a great chance to pick up a few tips. When we were on one of the first zoom calls I was told that Katy was going to be looking at the potential trails that would be used which was so cool to hear I would be meeting a rider I looked up to!”
The advert is out now, and Cameron has been fielding messages from friends and family who have seen it and recognised her. “It’s crazy… it’s pretty surreal to see myself on the TV. I’ve been racing for a few years now, from the British Cycling Dirt Crit Races, the Highland Hardline series, the Scottish & British races and then last year riding my first World Cup, but most of my friends and family don’t get the chance to see me ride. So for them to all of a sudden see me on the TV is really cool. I’m still trying to get my head round that!”
The significance of the storyline has resonated with a lot of mountain bikers, and for Curd and Cameron themselves.
“One big thing that attracted me to working with this was the fact they had cast female actors,” Curd explains. “I have worked hard to create a business that tries to encourage and inspire more women in to mountain biking so it’s amazing to see a huge company like Lloyds using a female role in the commercial, but also having mountain biking in a main stream advert.”
“I’ve had so many lovely messages saying how moving and inspiring the advert is, it’s been amazing to be a part of.”
“I think the story line really works and is pretty good representation of how it can happen,” comments Cameron. “We all learn to ride, ride to school, we have our first few falls and the doubt sets in on whether or not this is a wise thing to do but we get inspired by something or someone and that takes us on to the next level.”
“OK the advert is about a bank, but for our riding in general, the advert also shows that with a little bit of support, be it our parents, friends or the local bike club, we can all achieve some pretty awesome goals. I really like that they chose to focus on a girl for the story line; I’d love for this advert to be the spark that kindles the love of mountain biking for some girls – I hope it does.”
The advert is designed to raise awareness of the bank’s Bank Smart Start, a bank account for 11 – 15 year olds, with the riding set a soundtrack of the iconic Alicia Key’s song ‘Girl on Fire.’
Curd is a natural choice for this type of role and riding; as well as her own successful racing career, she runs a well-respected coaching business in the Forest of Dean, and has been coaching none-other than cross-country World Champion Evie Richards.
And, if you want to see more of her skills, check out her starring role in the Hunt Wheels advert – one of her sponsors – on the back of the current issue of MBR Magazine.