TBWA Designs a Bike-Lock Poster From Pieces of Competitors’ Broken Locks

An ad that's cool enough to steal

To introduce AXA's Victory bicycle lock, TBWA\Neboko scoured the streets of Amsterdam looking for other companies' broken bike locks, and used pieces of them in this memorable poster and billboard campaign (which even has its own making-of video).

The cracked, bent bits of metal form letters that spell out AXA's message about Victory—that it's "The lock that should've been on your last bike." A sleek, shiny new Victory lock plays a key role in this found-object alphabet, serving as the "O" in the Dutch word for "lock."

"Holland is the country of bikes," explains agency art director Rogier Verbeek. "Almost everyone has a bike. Or had one. Because a lot of them get stolen." More than 300 get pinched there every day, "so if you own a bike, you probably also know the feeling of having your bike stolen," Verbeek adds.

Using the remains of rivals' broken locks to create the typography was a no-brainer, Verbeek says. Often, such pieces are "the only thing left when your bike is stolen," he says. "Since Amsterdam is full of bikes—and people stealing them—they weren't that hard to find."

Alas, Verbeek speaks from experience, as his own bicycle—not protected by an AXA lock, he concedes—was stolen while he was working on the Victory poster.

"It got stolen from in front of the agency," he says. "I was pretty bummed, since we were working on this campaign. It was a nice bike and my kid's seat was on it. Hope the current owner gets himself a better lock."

As far as Verbeek knows, no cycling enthusiasts or typography fans have stolen the poster from public display, "but it would be great if someone did."

CREDITS

Client: AXA

Agency: TBWA\Neboko, Amsterdam

Art Director: Rogier Verbeek

Copywriter: Matthijs Schoo

Graphic Designer: Reza Harek

Photographer: Paul Theunis