Schwinn Magical Bell

Schwinn, an American bicycle brand, is urging harried young Americans to step off the rat race for a few minutes and hop on their bikes. The integrated advertising campaign is centred on the brand’s iconic handle-bar mounted Schwinn bicycle bell, using it not only as a touchstone to trigger warm associations people have for their first Schwinn bike, but as a subtle ‘wake up’ call to drop that BlackBerry, put down that videogame, strap on your helmet and go for a ride. The campaign includes print and TV developed by Cossette, as well as banners, a web site (, P.R. and an extensive dealer activation program.

Schwinn Break Free

Print work features a shot of a woman riding on the beach, her dog right behind her, with the headline, “The world needs a recess bell.” Another execution shows a father and daughter biking on a country lane by a glimmering lake with the headline, “Never stop and smell the cubicles.”

Schwinn print advertisement

Schwinn print advertisement

Schwinn print advertisement

Schwinn print advertisement

“Magical Bell”, the TV spot, shows a woman on her Schwinn bike, riding down a suburban street, passing a young boy sitting in his yard, thumbs busy with his videogame device. She rings her bike’s bell, and suddenly, as we hear the familiar “br’ring-ding,” the videogame is gone and he’s playing on a tire swing. Next we see her headed down a city street, passing a man who’s busy yelling into his cell phone. With another flick of her bell, his phone is gone, replaced by a cuddly puppy. In the final transformation, she passes a woman with her kids pushing a laden grocery cart toward a mini-van in the parking lot of a big box store. As the bell rings, the mini-van turns into an ice cream truck.

Click on the image below to play the video.

“The size and scope of this campaign demonstrates to both our consumers and our retail community how strong our commitment is to restoring the Schwinn brand’s traditional role in the leisure category,” says Andrew Coccari, Chief Marketing Officer for Dorel Recreational/Leisure. “Our core message is that life is hectic and stressful, and Schwinn products are designed to help you get back on a slower track, enjoying time with family and friends in a healthful and restorative activity.”

Dorel Industries’ Recreational/Leisure segment is backing up the efforts of local retailers with point of sale materials and local market support, along with subsidized co-op advertising. In addition, Dorel R/L has undertaken an extensive study of the shopping experience for bikes and bike products that promise to increase the efficiency of the company’s outreach to consumers in both retail and online environments.

Schwinn dealer kit


The Magical Bell ad was developed at Cossette New York by executive creative director Bill Oberlander, senior art director Anthony Alvarez, senior copywriter Jason Ashlock.

Cossette Chief Creative Officer Bill Oberlander gives an overview of the campaign. “We’re out to restore people’s love affair with their Schwinn bikes. Our overall sentiment in this campaign is to gently remind them that life isn’t a race, it’s a ride. We want people to pedal slowly. The bell is a catalyst, something that takes us back to a time when we weren’t caught up with all the trappings of twenty-first century life. We felt it was a device that was ripe for the taking, and if anyone should own this, it should be Schwinn.”

Filming was shot by director Gaysorn Thavat via Grand Large, with director of photography Ginny Loane, producer Margaux Ravis, editor Vincent Velasquez, Flame artist Stefan Coory at Machina/Grand Large. Telecine was by Jamie Wilkinson at The Mill, New York. Sound was mixed by Keith Reynaud via Sound Lounge, New York.

Music is “Just a Dream” by AM60.