DC Rolls Out New TV Commercial

Dyrdek escapes down twenty-stair rail to evade army of admirers.

DC Shoe Co. will broadcast a new TV commercial this month on the ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, MTV, Fox Sports, and USA networks. The second nationally broadcast TV spot from DC, it will expose potentially millions of viewers to the companys style, humor, and latest shoe¿Rob Dyrdeks Exacta pro model.

Titled The Chase, the ad follows Dyrdek through the streets of Los Angeles with a mob of screaming admirers in pursuit. He uses his skateboard and wits to evade them, and eventually escapes down a twenty-stair handrail¿a feat aided, of course, by his Exacta shoes.

Inspired by The Beatles A Hard Days Night, Dyrdek and DC President Ken Block worked with director Kevin Kerslake, whos created music videos for bands like Blues Traveler, Green Day, Nirvana, Cypress Hill, and R.E.M., to help refine the concept and produce the spot. After two months of planning, the twenty-person crew and 40 extras took over a section of downtown Los Angeles (including the twenty-stair rail at the Museum Of Contemporary Art) for two days of filming that Dyrdek wont soon forget: “These little girls and all these people were chasing me, but they didnt know what was going on. I was staring down the barrel of this twenty, in the hardest moment of my life¿so stressed out. Im rolling up to this thing screaming, ‘Fuck!‘ And Ive got little girls going, ‘Its cool. You got it, Rob. You can do it!’ Like my supporting cast¿all behind me, but not having a single clue. Then it only took me two tries to do it, and people were all, ‘Well that was easy.’ They had no clue what a triumph it was for me.”

Dyrdek was joined on the set by teammates Colin McKay and Anthony Van Engelen. Both participated in the project as extras, although only McKays cameo made the final cut (hes in the screaming mob that chases Dyrdek down the stairs). “It wouldnt have been possible to have the same outcome if we used all the members of our team,” says Block. “It just happened that this particular concept coincided with the release of Robs new shoe.”

The first DC commercial aired last year during ESPNs X-Games, and was also shown on the MTV, USA, and Comedy Central networks. It featured Josh Kalis skating through New York City, and like the Dyrdek spot, it was humorous and insightful into skateboarding culture and the character of the featured athlete. Block says the time and budgets required to produce and air television commercials make it difficult to do them more frequently, but he believes television is the next logical step for DC promotions.

Broadcast on national television, the companys commercials are being seen by audiences beyond DCs core of skate, snow, surf, and moto consumers. Block says they werent produced to be a series, but admits that because they were designed to educate audiences about skateboarding as much as they are about DC, there are some similarities between them: “Both commercials involve great skateboarding, humor, and sarcasm, as well as highlighting DC product. Our goal is still the same¿create brand awareness and drive new and existing customers to DC retailers nationwide.”

Having extensively advertised in most major sports and youth-culture magazines over the brands seven-year history, Block believes television is the next logical step. He says his strategy with the TV spots is to lead viewers to the DC Web site (dcshoeco.com), where a dealer locator will direct them to their local source¿the goal being to empower the core retailers by leading new customers to them, rather than take the shoes to mainstream outlets where those customers may already be shopping. “TV is a way of exposing the DC brand to new and existing consumers while entertaining them,” says Block. “The goal of this commercial is to get more of our existing consumers, as well as new ones, to our exissting retailers.”

While Vans has also aired commercials featuring its pro skaters, television is still new teritory for skateboard companies, and Block says such efforts set DC apart. If The Chase and its supporting print-ad campaign attracts as much response as last years commercial did, plan on another 30 seconds of skateboarding, humor, and featured footwear interrupting your favorite shows in Summer 2002.