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Ad Nauseum: Let’s Just Keep Bashing the Bicycle!

Looks like we might have a trend! Following my posting featuring a commercial bashing bicycling as a mode of travel, this holiday season I saw two more ads locally making fun of bicycling/alternative transportation. One which isn't on the internet anywhere is a 30 second spot with a guy who loses a chance at a date cause he rides the bus and doesn't own a car. But I found this recent CarLoanPal.com commercial (which might be airing in other markets outside NYC) which features an angry, car-less, bike-riding woman telling the camera, "You think I like riding this bike to work everyday?!"

Do you think that woman could shake the handle bars a few more times to show how rickety and dangerous her ride seems?

To be honest, car commercials have been poking fun at bicycling for a hella long time. Here's an annoying one from Hyundai in 2011 which portrays bicycling as an outdated mode equivalent to the Zepplin, vintage cellphones, and using a typewriter on your lap at a coffee house.

And here's one for Audi which touts its clean diesel engine while making fun of mass transit users & bicyclists (again note: the wobbly bicyclist trying to maintain his balance!!)

But maybe there's some hope out there since the rest of the advertising world has been embracing bicycling to sell their products. This great, inspirational spot recently popped up on the airwaves for Quaker Up featuring a kid using the energy of his meal to power up the top of a hill.

That kid can sure dream, but at least he is growing up in a world where bicycling is cooler and being taken more seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexWithAK Alex Knight

    The Hyundai one doesn't bother me. If anything they're actually regarding cycling as a valid part of society. The ad calls out things that are good and useful because they evolved beyond early iterations and they count cycling among cell phones and laptops. I'll take it.

    Meanwhile, the Car Loan Pal ad is just plain idiotic and the Audi ad is flat out insulting. (Not surprising though after their 2012 Christmas ads featuring Santa and Dr. Phil driving recklessly while not even looking at the road.) The other side of the coin though is that this could be an indication that they actually see cycling and transit as actual threats to their business model.

  • Quellerdrive

    The woman riding the bike had enough sense to tuck in her chain ring pant leg, so obviously she is somewhat experienced as a rider.

  • Cdenison

    That Audi ad is ridiculous. Their marketing strategy is to make fun of their potential customers? Anyway, if all those people were in Audi's I don't think the Audi driver would be going so fast.

  • Susan Pantell

    It would be great to do a mock ad for the Audi ad, showing someone stuck in traffic, maybe getting rear-ended, and gas prices going up. Then show people having fun walking, riding their bikes and taking transit and say actually we have more fun doing it. Of course, biodiesel is not good for the environment; it would be good to get them on that also.

  • meltyman

    Top brands have marketing departments capable of figuring this out, viz., Lexus (2013): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yNc9XRcjjw and Audi (2012): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89uJz_us4PM (note how different this is from the 2010 TDi ad!)

  • meltyman

    Here's a game I play with family & friends: whenever a tv ad features a bicycle, the first one to shout "BIKE!" gets an ice cream. You'd be amazed how many ads have bikes in them.