24 November 2009

An Important Music Video



This is a music video featuring bicycles by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Let's get one thing clear right off the bat. This is a textbook example of how not to market cycling as a mainstream mobility option for regular people. This is fencing cycling in to the Sub-Culture Corral and continuing to portray it as a marginalised fringe group with limited membership. Something for the few and the different. It highlights how Critical Mass is a miss.

Here's the funny thing. I had goose pimples the entire duration of the video. Man, it's beautifully filmed. The filmmaker in me was impressed.

Musically, as a rule, I'm not partial to Weltschmerzy Ameripop with a nauseating overuse of sunset, leather jackets, singing from hilltops to the urban landscape, slow motion white horses and a sound that borrows heavily from early U2.

But this video worked for me. It pushed all the right buttons. It does its job to perfection. I was sitting here wondering if using the word 'powerful' to describe it was appropriate. I think it might be.

The Beauty and the Bike documentary trailer does more for urban cycling than this video ever will, but you know what? This is an important video. A powerful video. Simply because it is beautifully filmed and emotionally electrifying. Marketing is about the message but marketing is also about the packaging. This is Flash Card marketing - the bicycle appearing again and again and securing itself at place in the public consciousness.

Don't we - the writer and reader of these words - sometimes secretly feel as though we are the cycling Kings and Queens of Promise? With our efforts to promote cycling positively and to combat The Culture of Fear / fearmongering and bull ignoring? With our hopes for urban mobility?

I've certainly never bloody well thought about it before, but maybe that's what emotions the video triggers. Who knows.

Thanks to Sheffeld Cycle Chic for the link.