February 10, 2015

The Bicycle in Popular Culture: The Independent Ad

Charlie Walsh: Note the number of cyclists present and the number of helmets on their heads in The Independent’s promo video


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  1. Ironic that they show everything this is street level, micro economy in scale to promote a high rise tower that is essentially warehousing people. Deception at its most efficient.

  2. Condo and automobile marketers understand one crucial concept: in order to sell a product, you must use emotion sell a lifestyle (freedom, comfort, ease, etc). Something severely lacking in the material pumped out by advocacy groups, local government and the bicycle industry (but we in the Cycle Chic world have done somewhat effectively, if I might say so).

    In late 2013, Copenhagenize were involved in a two-year study that looked at the presence of helmets in bike marketing materials, and how they were often prone to drive people to other, less active forms of transportation. Well worth a read: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2013/10/promoting-cycling-positively-now-with.html.

    1. I completely agree with what you say about selling, emotions and lifestyle. There are different aspects to promoting cycling, and one of them is the “selling” part. But when criticizing local government or (charitable) advocacy groups, it’s important to understand that unlike developers or other businesses/individuals, they have constraints in terms of showing unhelmeted cyclists in a jurisdiction with an adult helmet law.

      Cycle Chic does much with photos and words, and it complements what advocacy groups and local governments do.

  3. I clicked on that video twice, and the next one that played was about two couples living 700 sq feet. “Shared micro living” It made me really sad, actually, even though it was obvious the tiny, dark, narrow space didn’t actually belong to them or hold any of their stuff. It’s just that people who come up with this shit think we deserve so little..

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