25 January 2010

Advertising in a Bicycle Culture

Copenhagen Bike Culture Advertising
Recently the Danish State Railways [DSB] announced that bikes are now free on all the S-Trains in the Greater Copenhagen area.

It was pretty big news here but DSB launched a comprehensive campaign to let the people know about it. On the busiest bicycle street in the western world, Nørrebrogade, they put up a mock S-train carriage on the bike lane. The morning bicycle rush hour on this street, which averages 38,000 cyclists a day, would find it hard to miss the advertising campaign. Whether people rode through the train tunnel or past it. On this stretch the bike lanes are double wide, around 5 metres.
Copenhagen Bike Culture Advertising
When the cyclists stopped at the red light up ahead, they were given a brochure about the fact that bikes are now free on the trains, as well as a free ticket for the train. Rather cool.
Copenhagen Bike Culture Advertising
Print adverts in a variety of themes about the new initiative feature prominently in the city these days. This advert on an outdoor ashtray, featuring beer glasses as wheels, reads:

"Invite your bicycle back to your place when you've been out on the town.
Bicycles now travel free on the S-trains."

The same spot in the top photos is quite a popular place for people to advertise or raise awareness about various issues.

There are few other place in the city where you can get face to face with so many people. When cyclists roll to a stop at the light - and they are often 50-75 cyclists at a time in the rush hour - you can easily get your message across. 10-15,000 cylists in the morning rush hour... that's a lot of citizens. They can't walk away from you because they're waiting at the red light and they're not hidden inside cars.

This spot sees all manner of activity. For example, our nurses went on strike a couple of years ago and they stood right here with banners to win popular support. They handed out bread rolls to cyclists. Other times you'll get handed fruit or what not with the brochures.
Copenhagen Bike Culture Advertising

Below is the former 'bicycle mayor', Klaus Bondam, handing out bread rolls a while back at the same spot.