15 December 2010

Selling Snow to the Inuit?

København Amsterdam Cimber Sterling
I saw this advert in a national paper last week. Cimber Sterling is a low-cost Danish airline and they're advertising cheap flights to Amsterdam. One-way tickets for €53 / $70. But that's not the point of this post. Here at Copenhagenize we go weak at the knees whenever we see positive bicycle-related advertising. In fact, Denmark used to rule supreme in this genre. Here are three tourism posters from the late 1940's:

Copenhagen - Gay Spot of Europe Denmark - Country of Smiles and Peace Denmark - The Country for your Holiday
Not to mention the modern classics produced by Danish illustrator Mads Berg.

At first glance you'd think the Cimber Sterling ad was selling snow to the Inuit. "Hey, bicycle nation #2! Come and visit bicycle nation #1!"

However, things have changed. This advert is very poignant here in 2010. Perhaps even more than the admen working for Cimber Sterling know.

It offers asylum, if even for a weekend, from The Culture of Fear - Danish Branch. It offers you the chance to escape the intolerably unscientific safety-nannying of the communication consultants at the Danish Road Safety Council and Danish Cyclists' Federation, not to mention the negative branding of cycling in this country, by travelling to Amsterdam. Where it is still legal to double on a bicycle.

Come to Amsterdam. To freedom. Climb to the mountaintop. Look down the other side. Visit Amsterdam. Visit bicycle freedom.