PROMOTION – some strive for it in their career. Some progressively climb the career ladder in an orderly fashion whilst others jump the queue.
The same can be said in the world of bicycles.
There was a popular rank under the Raleigh company umbrella of bicycles. The starting point was the Boxer. The Grifter sat in the middle, but at the summit stood the Chopper.
The Boxer was your entry level bike: ‘Check me out – I’m on the scene and I’m gunning for you!’
The Grifter: ‘I’ve been around for a while and I know a trick or two so I’ll just bide my time.’
Then we come to the undisputed number one …The Chopper.
The Chopper was the MD of the Raleigh Bicycle Company – ultimately the Big Dog. You knew he was the big dog and he stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Check out the big back wheel and the small front wheel. Check out the backrest positioned at a slight angle so you can ride and recline. Check out the positioning of the handlebars – this is one easy rider!
The Chopper is about respect and status. It’s a cruising machine that needs to be ridden slow – one hand on the handlebar whilst the other hand holding a can of 7up. Recline and relax with this stress-free ride.
The big dog makes a silent and clear statement – I’m at the top and I’m not moving. It’s telling the Boxer and Grifter that promotion does not exist in their lives – almost like pushing a drawing pin into their tyres. The big dog is one ruthless MD.
Once reality kicks in, the Boxer and Grifter bow in reverence when the MD shows up. Life becomes easier for them once they submit to the unique, superior model.
The Chopper is number one so no point in trying harder. Whilst continually linked with senior roles at competitors within the world of bicycles, the big dog considers them, but always stays loyal to Raleigh.
The Chopper didn’t have work hard to reach the pinnacle – the orderly queue of the career path was jumped whilst leaving other contenders deflated on the stepping stones. How did the Chopper manage to jump the career queue? It’s unique, stands out from the rest, and has serious respectability. It’s confident and sometimes cocky – traits that have no real negative impact on mass appeal.
If gaining promotion is a bit a struggle for you, then just think of the Chopper and be unique. Walk into the office wearing a onesie, grow some chunky sideburns or get the barber to give you a mohican. Be unique and float to the top.
The Raleigh Chopper is featured in the new fun and factual hardback book, Section N Underpass. A nostalgic back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s. Get the rundown here: