The Program | Poster Analysis

I like when a poster tells a story and this one is one if the brilliant ones. From top to bottom it tells a story, besides the name of the people who worked on this film, which depending on your tastes, it will give you faith in this movie or not. The story really starts with the title The Program. Lance Armstrong’s rise to prominence and downfall was a highly publicized, this title immediately puts you in the right frame of mind. Winning seven consecutive Tour de France while using Performance enhancing drugs must have been difficult, and achieving such a feet was quite an ordeal, a whole Program.

The tag line “Winning was in his blood” is a such a genius double entendra that it makes me smile. “It’s in your blood, you can do this” is such a popular phrase, a mantra when it comes to winning, overcoming hardship or some great task. It is meant to empower, help push through limits, give a boost of energy and hope….just like performance enhancing drugs. The tag line both illustrates the a winner’s mantra and a cheater’s confidence in his drugs.

The cyclist with both his arms raised to the sky is often The Pose you’ll see when cyclists are crossing the finish line. He’s in the center of the poster, like he would be in the middle of the road, so the eyes are drawn to him despite all the yellow around him. Yellow, in the Tour de France, is the color of the jersey the leader of the general classification wears. So the fact the poster and the cyclist on it wears that color makes sense, after all yellow reminds us of gold, winners are given gold medals, and Armstrong won a lot of them at the time.

The fact that the cyclist on the poster, supposedly Lance Armstrong, is making the “Ok” sign with his left hand is so smart. It could be easily dismissed but means so much, like “we’re ok, we did.” “got away with it again.” It’s the kind of small details that many, who got the general idea of the poster and this the film, might miss.

The needle of what appears to be a syringe give the impression of a trajectory, the middle line of a road, and a nice metaphor of that syringe pushing him through the finish line, to the win, calling back to the tag line “Winning was in his blood.”

It might have been great if the syringe was made to look like one of those caravans that often follow cyclists along, it would have reinforced the idea that it was “a team effort” that Armstrong didn’t do this by himself. But then maybe it would have been harder to see the syringe.

If there’s anything I missed don’t hesitate to share it with me and what’s your take on this Poster ?


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