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Thursday Edition



By Bandit Julie and Becky and of course FLO

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We live is strange times. Social media surrounds us with constants info, but it’s often bullshit. It’s teasers, spin and untruths. More and more I want to know more, but even in an era of constant info you can’t find the real story.

The first time I saw a Flo astride a chrome thrown I was blown away. Sure, she looked magnificent, but the thrown was the shit, and I wanted to know more. Who built them? I wanted to share as many details as possible with Bikernet Readers. Hell, I’ve been making shit out of old motorcycle parts forever. The brothers would love this shit. I started to dig.

As soon as I discovered a set designer was involved I knew we would have a problem—it’s all fiction. Maybe they were photoshopped. Making sets is all about keeping secrets. “As soon as I’m faced with a project with no clear starting point, I’m excited,” said Anthony, from Buffalo Art Co.

I reached out to Progressive and fortunately after six months found Julie Kolencik.

“We are going to talk to the shops and see what we can piece together.” She tried, but we couldn’t grab stills of the build process, just Youtube videos.

A behind the scenes video on the making of these thrones can be found here:

“Passionate about creating authentic experiences for the motorcycle community,” Julie said. “Progressive worked with Buffalo Art Co. and custom motorcycle builder, Chase Stopnik in LA (Cycle Zombies) to create these unique hand-built works. The custom built motorcycle thrones are made of motorcycle parts, representing distinct bike types, including cruisers, touring and sport bikes.”

Click to check 'em out.
Click to check 'em out.

Mike the lead fabricator was challenged, “We got a load of stuff and had to figure it out.” They figured the Cruiser Throne had to be loud, the Touring Throne had to be Long Haul and the Sport Bike Throne needed to be fast.

A recent Cycle Zombies Pan was featured in ChopCult.
A recent Cycle Zombies Pan was featured in ChopCult.

The thrones were included in a print ad series released in August, featuring Flo from Progressive ditching her white and blue apron and unveiling a new look. Flo’s new style has her in a leather jacket and boots as queen of the motorcycle world.

Click for a quote.
Click for a quote.

Flo kicked off her fictional involvement with Progressive Insurance in 2008. Think about the fictional aspect. Nothing is real, but dammit she’s carried the Progressive message through 135 TV commercials and who knows how many print ads. She made out with this gig, and scored when it came to her Cycle Thrones. And hell, they were just built in a backyard garage.

Click for info.
Click for info.

“Flo’s new look was featured in Progressive’s Throne campaign which showed her in three different motorcycle outfits on three awesome,” said Julie, “custom built motorcycle thrones made of motorcycle parts, representing distinct bike types, including cruisers, touring and sport bikes. Flo’s new style has her in a leather jacket and boots as queen of the motorcycle world.” Or at least the Insurance branding side to the motorcycle world.

Click for action.
Click for action.

Here’s what I found out about the Cycle Zombies:

Cycle Zombies is a family that was born and raised in Orange County, CA. It was never founded, it just happened. Surfing, skateboarding, building and riding motorcycles, is a lifestyle that we live and breath everyday, as opposed to what so many other companies try to copy. We're not a club or a gang, but a brotherhood of family and friends who ride together and care for each other...

We dig up old bikes and bring them back to life with a new look. We're not trying to re-invent the wheel, but only make them turn again...

Surfing, skating, and riding choppers give you all the same feelings of freedom. The second you fire a bike up, step on a skateboard, or catch a wave, you forget about everything...

Click for action.
Click for action.

Below is the team we worked with to ideate and produce the thrones and the final ads:
Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Prop Builder: Anthony Altamore, Buffalo Art Co.
Photographer: Dana Neibert
Producer: Paige Dorian
MC Consultant: Chase Stopnik, Cycle Zombies
Fabricator/Welder: Mike Turallo

If you can’t get enough of the Cycle Thrones, here’s the Short version:

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