Traditionally, the Playboy Mansion's main attraction has been the small army of Playmates who hang around it. But professional cyclist Danny MacAskill manages to overshadow even the bunnies, as he turns the estate's grounds into a trials-style obstacle course in this new ad for Red Bull.
It's not that a couple of scantily clad women aren't featured heavily in the two-minute clip. But the promise of sex is practically table stakes in advertising aimed at young dudes. Sad as it may be, the oversexualized shots of ladies lounging in bikinis and under waterfalls serve more or less as background once MacAskill starts doing his tricks—it's just much more fascinating to watch him jump off walls and ride backwards down a hill on only his front wheel. In fact, even the actual birds—parrots and flamingos—make for more novel B-roll.
Overall, though, it's deftly filmed, and fun to watch. The soundtrack, "9.2.5" by Ghosthouse, is a great fit, and showcasing an offbeat street sport in a clever way is right in Red Bull's branded content sweet spot—even if this iteration is less charmingly inventive than MacAskill's work for the brand's "Imaginate" series last year or the amusingly overcomplicated Red Bull opening machine to which he contributed in 2012.
As for the tawdriness, MacAskill, who now has some 100 million views across his YouTube portfolio, seems more interested in the terrain than his co-stars. "It turned out there were some decent bits to ride, but it was quite hard with all those girls distracting you, quite hard work doing all this riding [laughs]," he says in a Q&A over at the brand's website. "I’m a little too shy for that kind of stuff."