05 September 2008

Promoting Cycling in America - Yes, You Read That Correctly

What a fantastic ad for beer and cycling. I thought the whole 'patriot' thing was a tad cheesy the first time I saw it, but upon watching it a couple of times I realised it works so well with the images and the mood. Splendid stuff. That could be a Danish street in the winter and the constant sound of rattling glass is an urban Copenhagen soundtrack on weekends here. Bottles of beer and wine jingle jangling their way to parties on bikes.

The Miller advert really presents 'freedom' well. Freedom of movement that the bicycle provides, and has always provided. The advent of the 'safety' bicycle in the late 1800's launched a liberation of the working classes by providing them with a cheap, flexible form of transport. This advert follows that tradition. The character is Blue Collar USA. All he wants to do is get home from work and have a beer afting working hard all day. Why should people he'll never meet dictate how he does that? Whether it's 'the OPECS' or his own government? Manpower indeed.

Back in the early 1960's a few filmmakers - Pennebaker, Leacock and Drew - started what we in the film industry call 'One man, one camera' - an extension of Cinéma Vérité. They made documentaries and did so without the usual film crew entourage. It gave them a freedom of movement and a new intimacy with their subject matter. Much the same as the bicycle.

One man. One bike.

Here's another one that is considerbly more corny, but it is right 'in your face' about bikes being affordable and feasible transport options. I'm loving the guy's bike.

So exciting to have recieved these two films from readers in the same week. Keep them coming, from all round the world.