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baby gerald View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 8:49am


This one-minute spot debuted during the seventh stage of this year's Tour de France.



Opening with a mountain view, the camera pans to the right to reveal a winding mountainside road, with Lance Armstrong, alone, apparently on a training ride, out of the saddle and climbing at high cadence.   After about ten seconds it pans back left to the mountain view before cutting to a close-up profile of Lance, dripping with sweat, determination etched on his face.  Then it cuts once again to the winding road, Lance climbing closer and closer into frame, looking straight ahead at the camera and past it, burning intensity in his eyes.  A quick shot from above,  Lance alone on the mountain road climbing from lower right to upper left of the frame, then we're up close again, the camera panning right to left from behind him on the climb, as he gets out of the saddle to crank up a particularly steep part of switchback turn.  Another shot from above at a distance as he rounds the turn, then back to the close up, scrolling around him from his left to his front as he summits the climb. The final shot shows the road curving down into the valley below, empty for a moment until Lance flies past in a full-tuck descent.  'Just do it.' and the Nike swoosh appear in Livestrong yellow at the lower center-right of the frame.  

The imagery is breathtakingly inspiring, but the true mastery of this piece is in the power of the audio editing.  If the stark silence of the opening seconds isn't attention-grabbing enough, we begin to hear short snippets of audio testimonials from numerous people who, we are soon to realize, are cancer survivors.  Fading in to Lance's first appearance, we first hear introductions-- various voices giving their names and ages.  Cutting to the first close-up, we hear them describing the anger, pain, frustration, and fear they felt from bein0g diagnosed with cancer.  Close up, we hear Lance's breath from the exertion of the climb and, as camera zooms closer to his face, the voices begin to describe the determination to fight, to get on with living, to not give in, to defeat the illness.  As the camera changes from close to far, the audio fades back to silence.  In the next close-up, as Lance gets out of the saddle on the switchback, the audio fades back in as the survivors describe the exercise and life choices they made to carry on and surmount their illness.  The final close-up before cresting the hill, survivors now with unmistakable determination in their voices, describe how they're helping themselves and others, closing with 'there's a lot more in me' and 'there's still so much more I'm gonna do.'  before fading back to silence.  As Lance speeds down into the valley, all we hear is sound of his bike whooshing past. 

This is my first contribution to Commercials I Hate (thanks for letting me register, Nathan!), so I guess it's kind of ironic that my first post is about a commercial I love.  Nike spends for a full minute of advertising not to sell Nike product, not to celebrate one of their athlete's sporting achievements, but rather to celebrate the hope and inspiration this man has given to countless others fighting off a dreaded illness.  That, my friends, is true class. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 2:34pm
Well-written, gerald!
 
But anything with Lance Armstrong just bugs me.  I've read a few accounts of Lance the person (as opposed to Lance the God), and, from what I gather, Lance could probably not care less about whatever inspiration he is to others.  Supposedly---and this is based on info from the internet, granted---he's a very unpleasant and self-centered person, a complete ass.  I've never seen him on TV and thought, "cool guy" or "nice guy".  Everything about him made me cringe.  It's an intangible, just the way he comes off.  
 
While it's great that he's overcome cancer, don't mistake that as proof that he's some great human being, or even that he cares one iota about what anyone else is going through, health-wise.  He's about himself, and that's all.  Perhaps that's a necessary personality component for his particular sport, but nevertheless, it doesn't help me like him.
 
I've come to the conclusion that his cancer is beyond an unfortunate health problem he had 13 years ago, and is now mainly just a huge marketing opportunity. 
 
But if his image raises "awareness" somehow, and sells sneakers, that's a plus.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 3:24pm
Oh, and then there's this:
 
 
"The Lance Armstrong Foundation, set up by the former Tour de France champion to battle cancer, is suing an animal charity over dog and cat collars which resemble its yellow wristbands."
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hootman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 3:37pm

I'm going to sue "The Lance Armstrong Foundation" then.

Those yellow wristbands resemble a yellow rubber band I used to wear as a kid.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2010 at 9:24pm
Wasn't he accused of taking illegal 'enhancement' drugs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dreamstalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2010 at 4:33pm
Originally posted by Thor Thor wrote:

"The Lance Armstrong Foundation, set up by the former Tour de France champion to battle cancer, is suing an animal charity over dog and cat collars which resemble its yellow wristbands."

Real classy, suing another charity that LAF knows have much less money than they do.  While they're at it, sue Silly Bandz for using silicone, other band makers for using the same font/material/color yellow, etc.

It's not like anyone with a brain would confuse the two.  I think they're cute (it seems like they're not actually intended to replace a normal collar).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2010 at 4:50pm
Really, Dreamstalker.  What does Armstrong think is gonna happen?  Does he think that people who want to donate to his foundation will mistakenly send their money to this pet charity?  The more I hear about him, the more I think he's, most definitely, an ass.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ad nauseous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2010 at 5:04pm
Classy commercial well done!

This looks like it was worth the millions maybe billions of dollars to pay for it.
One good thing about TV-you could always turn it off
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baby gerald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 2:42am
Wow.  I thought the name of this site is 'Commercials I Hate', not 'Personalities I Hate'.  After I posted the commercial I had a feeling that it might turn into some sort of character assault.  You did not disappoint. 

Thor opens with:

'I've read a few accounts of Lance the person (as opposed to Lance the God), and, from what I gather, Lance could probably not care less about whatever inspiration he is to others.  Supposedly---and this is based on info from the internet, granted---he's a very unpleasant and self-centered person, a complete ass. I've never seen him on TV and thought, "cool guy" or "nice guy".  Everything about him made me cringe.  It's an intangible, just the way he comes off."' 
 
So in lieu of any personal interaction with the man or any stories from people you actually know who might have met him, you've chosen to evaluate his personality and character solely from accounts you found on the internets.  As the old saw goes, 'If it's on the internet, it's got to be true.' 

'While it's great that he's overcome cancer, don't mistake that as proof that he's some great human being, or even that he cares one iota about what anyone else is going through, health-wise.  He's about himself, and that's all.  Perhaps that's a necessary personality component for his particular sport, but nevertheless, it doesn't help me like him.'

Doesn't care about others?  As if he didn't establish a foundation to battle the disease that almost killed him.  A foundation that raised $37 million dollars last year alone.  A foundation that saw over $32 million of the money raised, more than 80%, go directly to research and support programs. 

http://www.livestrong.org/What-We-Do/Our-Approach/Where-the-Money-Goes

How many foundations does he need to establish, how many charity events does he need to attend, how much money does he need to raise before his selflessness is proven in your eyes? 

'I've come to the conclusion that his cancer is beyond an unfortunate health problem he had 13 years ago, and is now mainly just a huge marketing opportunity.'

So now there's a statute of limitations on the term 'cancer survivor'?  When did this happen?  It's particularly heartening to see you call it a 'marketing opportunity'.  Winning seven Tours de France is all he needed to earn his marketability.  Nike, Radio Shack, Nissan, Trek, Michelob, etc. aren't sponsoring him because he almost died of cancer thirteen years ago.  They're sponsoring him because he's one of the greatest athletes of this or any generation. 

Then he offers this gem:

'"The Lance Armstrong Foundation, set up by the former Tour de France champion to battle cancer, is suing an animal charity over dog and cat collars which resemble its yellow wristbands."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/14/2032610.htm'

First, can't you find a better source for this story than an Australian news site?  For instance, this one:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0913071armstrong1.html

As noted in the introduction and verified in the documentation provided,
'The pet collars are peddled by Animal Charity Collar Group, a Tulsa for-profit
operation that sells its tic and flea collar for $6.99, while a "support collar" costs $4.99.'

The underline above is mine.  Just to clarify, simply inserting the word 'Charity' is in the title of your company doesn't make it one. 

Looking deeper into the included documents, it is clear that this group contacted Livestrong in 2005 to pursue a partnership, basically to ride the coat-tails of the by-then enormously successful Livestrong bracelet campaign.  It didn't take long for Livestrong to realize that, despite their name, ACCG wasn't a charity at all (see paragraph 25) and that only a small fraction of the sale price of these collars would actually go to any charity.  They decided against the partnership proposal.  ACCG went ahead and made the collars anyway and got themselves sued as a result.  Not to spoil your dreamworld ideals, but what the hell do you think would happen?  Dilution of the 'Livestrong' brand?  Absolutely.  If you bought a collar from them thinking it was affiliated with Livestrong, expecting from the Livestrong literature that $5.59 (80%) of the $6.99 you paid for it went to charity only to find out that, in fact, most of that $6.99 went into the pockets of the owner of ACCG (refer again to paragraph 25 in the complaint), wouldn't that upset you?  Can't you see how this tarnishes the Livestrong brand?   And if Livestrong can make a bracelet that sells for $1 and still give 80 cents of that to charity, what right does this ACCG have to sell a 'support collar' for five times that?

Last, but not least Tiz enlightens the conversation with:

'Wasn't he accused of taking illegal 'enhancement' drugs.'

Actually, this is the direction I expected the character assault to take from the start. 

Lance Armstrong has been tested for PEDs hundreds of times.  He's quite literally the most tested athlete in the history of sport.  Every modern detection technique has been applied to him.  Every time he comes back negative-- spotlessly clean. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Armstrong#Allegations_of_drug_use

For anyone wanting to use my 'internet=truth' quip against me, all of the claims in this Wikipedia article are substantiated with ample footnotes.  Do a little research for yourself before spouting accusations. 

Despite all the past testing, this debate continues with the accusations lodged by Floyd Landis this year.  For the uninitiated, I offer another well-documented Wikipedia article as an introduction to Mr. Landis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Landis_doping_case

If that's not convincing, here's another:

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=5203604

For a more in-depth chronicle of all the shifts in Landis's personal doping story and his new assault of Armstrong, I offer this Wall Street Journal article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704911704575326753200584006.html

Read these and decide for yourself if Landis is credible.

In my opinion, Floyd Landis is the Jose Canseco of the cycling world.  Caught red-handed, with no future in the sport and his credibility essentially destroyed, his only means of revenue is the sale of tell-all books implicating without evidence his past associates and friends. 

Until an investigation finds Armstrong guilty of doping, we have no right to assume he has.  Innocent until proven guilty used to mean something.  Without any proof, these accusations amount to nothing but defamation and slander.  If you printed them in a newspaper, you could be held liable and sued.  Apparently, these rules doesn't apply in blog-land. 













 




 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 7:18pm
Just to enlighten the conversation a little more.
 
< Nike spends for a full minute of advertising not to sell Nike product, not to celebrate one of their athlete's sporting achievements, but rather to celebrate the hope and inspiration this man has given to countless others fighting off a dreaded illness.  That, my friends, is true class.> 
 
Nike makes shoes for any sports star that will endorse them. By people working in sweatshops down in Zambewee, Bangladesh or any other third world country. Sorry if I don't shed a tear for any Nike commercial.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baby gerald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2010 at 1:53am
News Flash! Large multi-national corporation exploits low-paid third world workers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2010 at 7:06pm
Originally posted by baby gerald baby gerald wrote:

Wow.  I thought the name of this site is 'Commercials I Hate', not 'Personalities I Hate'.  After I posted the commercial I had a feeling that it might turn into some sort of character assault.  You did not disappoint. 

Thor opens with:

'I've read a few accounts of Lance the person (as opposed to Lance the God), and, from what I gather, Lance could probably not care less about whatever inspiration he is to others.  Supposedly---and this is based on info from the internet, granted---he's a very unpleasant and self-centered person, a complete ass. I've never seen him on TV and thought, "cool guy" or "nice guy".  Everything about him made me cringe.  It's an intangible, just the way he comes off."' 
 
So in lieu of any personal interaction with the man or any stories from people you actually know who might have met him, you've chosen to evaluate his personality and character solely from accounts you found on the internets.  As the old saw goes, 'If it's on the internet, it's got to be true.' 

'While it's great that he's overcome cancer, don't mistake that as proof that he's some great human being, or even that he cares one iota about what anyone else is going through, health-wise.  He's about himself, and that's all.  Perhaps that's a necessary personality component for his particular sport, but nevertheless, it doesn't help me like him.'

Doesn't care about others?  As if he didn't establish a foundation to battle the disease that almost killed him.  A foundation that raised $37 million dollars last year alone.  A foundation that saw over $32 million of the money raised, more than 80%, go directly to research and support programs. 

http://www.livestrong.org/What-We-Do/Our-Approach/Where-the-Money-Goes

How many foundations does he need to establish, how many charity events does he need to attend, how much money does he need to raise before his selflessness is proven in your eyes? 

'I've come to the conclusion that his cancer is beyond an unfortunate health problem he had 13 years ago, and is now mainly just a huge marketing opportunity.'

So now there's a statute of limitations on the term 'cancer survivor'?  When did this happen?  It's particularly heartening to see you call it a 'marketing opportunity'.  Winning seven Tours de France is all he needed to earn his marketability.  Nike, Radio Shack, Nissan, Trek, Michelob, etc. aren't sponsoring him because he almost died of cancer thirteen years ago.  They're sponsoring him because he's one of the greatest athletes of this or any generation. 

Then he offers this gem:

'"The Lance Armstrong Foundation, set up by the former Tour de France champion to battle cancer, is suing an animal charity over dog and cat collars which resemble its yellow wristbands."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/14/2032610.htm'

First, can't you find a better source for this story than an Australian news site?  For instance, this one:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0913071armstrong1.html

As noted in the introduction and verified in the documentation provided,
'The pet collars are peddled by Animal Charity Collar Group, a Tulsa for-profit
operation that sells its tic and flea collar for $6.99, while a "support collar" costs $4.99.'

The underline above is mine.  Just to clarify, simply inserting the word 'Charity' is in the title of your company doesn't make it one. 

Looking deeper into the included documents, it is clear that this group contacted Livestrong in 2005 to pursue a partnership, basically to ride the coat-tails of the by-then enormously successful Livestrong bracelet campaign.  It didn't take long for Livestrong to realize that, despite their name, ACCG wasn't a charity at all (see paragraph 25) and that only a small fraction of the sale price of these collars would actually go to any charity.  They decided against the partnership proposal.  ACCG went ahead and made the collars anyway and got themselves sued as a result.  Not to spoil your dreamworld ideals, but what the hell do you think would happen?  Dilution of the 'Livestrong' brand?  Absolutely.  If you bought a collar from them thinking it was affiliated with Livestrong, expecting from the Livestrong literature that $5.59 (80%) of the $6.99 you paid for it went to charity only to find out that, in fact, most of that $6.99 went into the pockets of the owner of ACCG (refer again to paragraph 25 in the complaint), wouldn't that upset you?  Can't you see how this tarnishes the Livestrong brand?   And if Livestrong can make a bracelet that sells for $1 and still give 80 cents of that to charity, what right does this ACCG have to sell a 'support collar' for five times that?

Last, but not least Tiz enlightens the conversation with:

'Wasn't he accused of taking illegal 'enhancement' drugs.'

Actually, this is the direction I expected the character assault to take from the start. 

Lance Armstrong has been tested for PEDs hundreds of times.  He's quite literally the most tested athlete in the history of sport.  Every modern detection technique has been applied to him.  Every time he comes back negative-- spotlessly clean. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Armstrong#Allegations_of_drug_use

For anyone wanting to use my 'internet=truth' quip against me, all of the claims in this Wikipedia article are substantiated with ample footnotes.  Do a little research for yourself before spouting accusations. 

Despite all the past testing, this debate continues with the accusations lodged by Floyd Landis this year.  For the uninitiated, I offer another well-documented Wikipedia article as an introduction to Mr. Landis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Landis_doping_case

If that's not convincing, here's another:

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=5203604

For a more in-depth chronicle of all the shifts in Landis's personal doping story and his new assault of Armstrong, I offer this Wall Street Journal article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704911704575326753200584006.html

Read these and decide for yourself if Landis is credible.

In my opinion, Floyd Landis is the Jose Canseco of the cycling world.  Caught red-handed, with no future in the sport and his credibility essentially destroyed, his only means of revenue is the sale of tell-all books implicating without evidence his past associates and friends. 

Until an investigation finds Armstrong guilty of doping, we have no right to assume he has.  Innocent until proven guilty used to mean something.  Without any proof, these accusations amount to nothing but defamation and slander.  If you printed them in a newspaper, you could be held liable and sued.  Apparently, these rules doesn't apply in blog-land.  
 
Who are you---his publicist, his girlfriend, his mother??  Sorry, I just don't like the guy...never did.  I don't have to.
 
 
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