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Spend enough time in the bubble of professional cycling and you forget that sponsors are brands, not teams. You forget that Quick-Step makes flooring; you forget that Hansgrohe makes limited edition Peter Sagan showerheads. And then, every once in a while, you see something that reminds you that this whole crazy show is bigger than a name on a cycling kit.
Case in point: Ineos (sorry; INEO
S). They’re not just a pro-Brexit, pro-fracking typographical nightmare. They don’t just make a big, derivative 4WD. Now, they’re apparently in the hand sanitiser game, too.
This realisation, for me, came courtesy of a briskly paced one-minute ad I stumbled across on the Ineos YouTube channel. Since it was published a fortnight ago, it has amassed a heady 432 views, a couple of which were mine, so I think it’s safe to say the internet is not enraptured. But – hear me out – if you’re in the market to watch an ad for hand sanitiser, you could do worse than this one.
The scene is set with a guitar lead being plunged into an amp, briskly followed by a childbirth. A car starts. A drummer drums. Someone wetly squirts some hand sanitiser onto their hand. Everything is very quickly cut, very closely mic’ed, very ASMR. There are so many hands, doing so many things, needing so much sanitising.
About 10 seconds in we have twirly flamenco fingers and a beat kicks in. There’s an adorable baby suckling on a mother’s thumb. That’s immediately followed by some soft erotica. Some twiddly alto sax, someone crashing a skateboard. It’s like a moodboard on shuffle.
At 43 seconds in, someone’s hovering on the brink of death. At 47 seconds, someone’s run out of toilet paper. The tagline for the ad – ”You can handle anything” – flashes across the screen, and then a gratingly efficient British voiceover wraps it up with the product name. FIN.
Can you handle anything? I don’t know. It seems like a lot. But if you would like some billionaire-backed hand sanitiser that makes you think about a bicycle team, then this is probably the one for you.
At the very least, it is a way to spend a minute of your life, before you go back to pondering the crushing weight of everything.