22 July 2009

Wishful Thinking

The bicycle is booming and everyone is getting in on the act of exploiting it in marketing. There's been Mastercard, Walkers Crisps, bottled water, more bottled water and now, as you can see above, Audi, the car maker.

It's an original advert, sure, but apart from apparently advocating driving down steps and through pedestrian areas, the use of the bicycle in the advert is typical of a car company. It's there to exploit the current popularity of the bicycle but it is rather symbolic that it disappears at the end.

Given my other activities, it's no surprise that I would prefer to see the woman actually riding the bicycle, especially since the city in which she is in looks happily devoid of traffic.

Classic car marketing condescending to the bicycle as a toy or a recreational activity. It does show, however, that car companies are a tad worried about how cities around the world are seeking to re-establish the bicycle as a feasible transport option in urban areas. Perhaps the way the advert ends can be interpreted as a subliminal wish by the car companies that the pesky bicycle would disappear.


Amsterdamize said...

That's why I love this Dutch bicycle promotional ad so much ('Car Addiction is an underestimated problem, we need to help these people')

Bristol Traffic said...

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority rules mean that cars are not meant to show adverts encouraging illegal (car) actions - speeding, parking, etc. I don't know if they apply to bikes.

More realistic would be for car adverts be required to show cars in realistic city scenarios. Instead of a woman laughing as she happily drives across an empty bridge, she should be stuck in a traffic jam as the bike she just cut up slides by removing her (expensive to replace) wing mirror as retaliation, then get to her destination to find no parking spaces. That would be more honest.

workbike said...

I like Bristol Traffic's version. Or you could have her snarled up in traffic, giving up, and taking the bike off the roof and abandoning the car.

Green Idea Factory said...

Not sure if that advert is only for the Japanese market, but car traffickers are nervous there cos the kids are losing interest in cars: http://www.tomorrowstechnician.com/Article/38309/ap_report_says_japanese_auto_sales_decline_as_youth_lose_interest.aspx

Christa said...

I get a little bitter when I see bikes on cars. I always prefer to take my bike on transit. And I love the possibility of meeting people on the train.

This commercial is so unrealistic. Peak ad?

PolisVille said...

I enjoyed the ending where you realize a beautiful well dressed affluent woman driving an audi would or might be thrashing the city on a full suspension beast! As marketing experts attempt to identify trends they only see it at the surface rarely do the get it right. Which gives me the chance to pic them apart. Next time I want to see an Audi add with a real free ride cyclist in it not some model. If you do choose to use a model perhaps they could use the Chanel bicycle that would reflect the consumption habits of such a woman who buys $60,000 Audi SUV.