Tag Archives: marketing cycling

The Natural Attraction to Bicycles

I am still thinking a lot about bicycle marketing, and how important a simple and positive message is for eventual infrastructure change. I strongly believe that on a basic level people are naturally attracted to bicycles. Cycling reminds them of the freedom and fun of childhood. If only we can expose everyone to the beautiful side of cycling – think Copenhagen – the tide would start to turn in our favor.

11-8 sunday

Out and about with Oma

Am I veering too far into unicorn-and-faerie territory?  An experience today makes me think that this idea is not too far-fetched.  Continue reading

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Marketing the Simple Bicycling Lifestyle, Part 2

Earlier this week I asked what you would do as a marketer tasked with getting people to switch from cars to bikes. The resulting discussion was impressive.  The main points were to emphasize the ease and desirability of cycling, while not being too pushy or preachy and remembering that infrastructure is the most important piece of the puzzle. Steven Vance is discussing this approach in his Making cycling normal series, and of course it’s a constant theme over at Copenhagenize. Today I was hoping to report back on how I had the opportunity to spread this message via the mainstream media, but life is never that simple.

I volunteered to participate in the filming of a segment on winter cycling for a show on the new ABC Live Well network, along with a few other people, including Elizabeth of Bike Commuters and Julie of The Chainlink. Prior to filming, the producer sent us the following instructions:

Please be bike-ready, that is, bring your bikes and gear. We don’t want anyone showing up to the shoot site coming off a bus in work clothes! And finally, please bring your winter gear. We want to capture some footage of you guys wearing balaclavas, your three layers, and someone applying gel toothpaste to their goggles! (emphasis added)

After reading this, I considered canceling. I have no balaclava, goggles or gel toothpaste tricks, and my goal is to dress in work clothes looking as if I could have stepped off a bus instead of a bike. They obviously had a story in mind that I did not fit into. I should have followed my instinct.

The Interview

The Guys

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Marketing the Simple Bicycling Lifestyle

Today there is an interview with me on funsherpa, whose tag line is “uncovering what interesting people are interested in.” What a compliment! In my experience people who ride bikes to get around tend to be pretty interesting – they are independent people who take the time to question and challenge the status quo.

8-19-us

One of the most thought-provoking questions funsherpa asked me was:

Lets say you worked for a marketing firm tasked with getting Chicagoans to switch over from cars to bikes – what would you do?

I would use all the tactics that automobile advertisers use. They show the car as sexy, safe, freeing, fun, attractive, normal, necessary. In my experience, these adjectives describe bicycling more accurately than driving, especially in the city. Bicycling delivers the kind of freedom that car advertising promises. We need images of successful and happy people on bikes dressed nicely, going on dates, smiling and laughing. Exposure to such images, like those on Copenhagen Cycle Chic, is necessary to show the public the possibilities that the bicycle presents. Most women here have no idea that riding a bike with a skirt and heels is easy; that bicycling does not have to be a sport; and that the bicyclist does not have to get sweaty.

My answer is a start, but I’d like to hear all of your ideas. We’ve touched on this in The Bike Commuter Stereotype, and now we’d like to take the issue head-on. What would you do with unlimited resources, or what can you do working with the resources you have? How do we go beyond preaching to the choir and reach the general public – posters, commercials, product placement in movies? Let’s hear your ideas!

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Moi Je Joue

This French commercial is more Trisha’s area, but with Sophia Coppola directing, a song by Bridgette Bardot and bicycling chic – je t’aime!

And now I want to buy Miss Dior Cherie. B-a-a-a-a-a-a.

On the same topic of style and cycling, I continue to collect lovely bicycle pictures that I find on my favorite style and design blogs. I get special joy from finding bicycles on non-bicycle-related blogs.  We’re going mainstream, baby.  My first collection can be seen here. Below is what I’ve gathered since then. Enjoy!

Once Wed via English Muse
Once Wed via English Muse

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