Ad of the Day: Velodrome

Crystal CG, Chemical Brothers forge an insane, robotic promo for the Olympic cycling venue

Any Chemical Brothers video is going to have some stiff competition in the talent department, since Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze are among the gifted folks who've created videos for the electronica group (Gondry's "Star Guitar," in which the various beats are kept by objects flying past a train window, is particularly good). But London creative agency Crystal CG's three-minute "Velodrome" spot—created to promote the indoor-cycling venue at this summer's Olympic Games—keeps the standard quite high, with its oddball Tron-on-even-more-acid design aesthetic and visuals that look like they could be painted by lasers on the ceiling of a warehouse full of raving teenagers.

Given the popularity of electronica in Britain (the Chems themselves are from Manchester), it's appropriate for the London Games. The video has been played in the Velodrome itself before every cycling session, reminding participants that while achievements of the human form are a thing of beauty and a joy forever, nothing will ever quite match the cold, mechanical logic of robot bikers on robot bikes riding on a robot track to robot music.

The colors here are interesting, as is the idea that the entire stadium is pulsing with excitement as the bikedroids round the corner. And I know I've seen the slo-mo spark effect that comes off the wheels before, but it's never looked quite this good, so kudos to Crystal for that one. Still: robot music.

The song is loads of fun, as is most stuff by the Chemical Brothers. And the video appears to answer a question posed by the duo's single "Electrobank," which has its own, more prosaically Olympian video by Jonze (yes, that's Sofia Coppola as the gymnast). Which is, of course: Who is this doing this synthetic type of alpha-beta psychedelic funkin'?

Why, it's the Chemical Brothers. Human achievement is for the birds.


Client: London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Agency: Crystal CG, London

Music: The Chemical Brothers