23 February 2010

Hungarian Bike to Work Campaign

If there were a World Championship for Promoting Cycling Positively, the Hungarians would be the bookmakers favourites to win every time.

There's simply very little competition out there to compete with them. The Dutch would be the only real competitors. Even so the Hungarians would probably win by a spoke simply because they're working towards increasing urban cycling and estabishing a bicycle culture and that energy would put them over the line first.

The above film is for the national Bike to Work campaign - Bringázz a Munkába. Showing cycling as normal and accepted. Highlighting community. Here's another one from the same campaign, showing what many might consider to be an unlikely candidate for cycling to work enjoying his commute. Selling it positively:

The Hungarian Cyclists Federation - Magyar Kerékpárosklub - are legends at promoting cycling positively. I've had the pleasure to meet with them and discuss promotion and behavioural campaigns. They are extremely well-informed and passionate and just sitting around a table with them is infectious. Their focus is, rightly, on mainstreaming urban cycling. Reestablishing the bicycle as a respected transport option. Respecting the sub-cultural aspects but aiming high at getting regular citizens to ride. For more about that there's always the Behavourial Challenges for Urban Cycling essay.

Here's another film from the campaign. We have enough Hungarian readers on this blog to be able to muster a translation, don't we? Chuck 'em into the comments.

And here's an advert from a previous Bike to Work campaign:

Rest assured, there are other cities doing the right thing and investing in campaigns that portray urban cycling for what it is; quick, effortless, enjoyable, etc. We have a few of them in this post about How Other Cities are Promoting Cycling.

But then there are cities who haven't understood the marketing basics. Like the last film in the above post about other cities, or the laughable attempt at 'promoting' cycling from Los Angeles DoT.

If we're talking World Championships, with the prize being a sharp rise in the number of Citizen Cyclists, cities that promote cycling with fear myths and car-centric angles won't even finish the race while cities like Budapest et al will win all the amazing societal benefits to be won.

I've been toying with the idea of a series of Copenhagenize Heroes photos. Portraits of people I've been lucky enough to meet on my bicycle travels and who inspire me and Copenhagenize. Let's start tout suite.
The President
Copenhagenize Hero #1 - Janos Laszlo, President of the Hungarian Cyclists Club. For his undying optimism, passion and visionary goals for putting the bike back into Hungary, under the bottoms of Citizen Cyclists across the land.