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.