02 June 2011

Car Industry Goes to Next Level

We are always pleased when Cycle Chic inspires. This is not, however, what we had in mind. The car industry, in this age of demotorisation, are bumping things up a notch.

I am in Montreal and Ottawa this week, presenting one of my talks, and discussing how the car industry has spent a century perfecting the art of selling their products. A lot of bicycle advocacy, on the other hand, is small groups of sub cultural enthusiasts trying to get the larger population to be just like them, instead of employing basic marketing techniques to encourage people to ride.

The growth of Cycle Chic mirrors the marketing techniques employed between 1880s-1950s and it interesting to see how it has gone from a blog with nice photos to becoming Bicycle Advocacy 2.0.

The city of Murcia, in Spain, has a cycle chic blog and Cycle Chic Belgium is run by an environmental NGO. Several other cities have contacted us about starting cycle chic blogs and today Montreal Cycle Chic will launch here in... Montreal. I am heading down to the bar shortly.

Montreal Cycle Chic is an intiative of Velo Quebec, Canadas largest cycling NGO. They recognize the value of the concept and its ability to encourage people to ride bicycles.

From babes and dapper chaps on bicycles to mainstreaming bicycle advocacy. Nice.


tstreet said...

Makes one want to be a Peugeot but not necessarily have a Peugeot. Maybe, with your skills, you could do a mashup with a bicycle instead of the car. And then I would just want to be a bicycle.

I take your point but I don't think I have ever seen an advertisement for a bicycle on TV. I assume it is way too expensive for the bicycle industry.

Bristol Traffic said...

hey, at least they say it's OK to be out in the rain. Wasn't it that Audi car ad that was laughing at the people on bicycles stuck out in the wet?

Even so: showing city roads without traffic and where there are legal parking spaces should be forbidden on the grounds of presenting an unrealistic view of modern cities

Kiwehtin said...

Well, time was that a Peugeot had two wheels, was steered with handlebars — and powered by pedaling. As Mikael pointed out in his talk Wednesday, many of the advertising techniques car manufacturers took advantage of had already been more or less perfected when these companies were manufacturing bicycles.

Khal said...

I suppose if more men thought real life was like a commercial, we would stampede to the nearest Peugeot dealership.

Bicilenta said...

There is a far worse example, the Fiat 500 ad.
They pretend us to use cars for everything!
Here is the link (in spanish, but the message is clear):

shuichi said...

No doubt such "chic" has been influencing the Japanese bicycle seen recently. More people are riding cool in style bicycles in Japan. As for me, mama bicycles.^^

Richard Larouche said...


I was unfortunately unable to attend your conference in Montréal this wednesday, but I read in your message that you are heading to Ottawa - is this for another conference?


Alexandre à Montréal said...

I, too, would have liked to hear what you had to say. Too bad I only learned that you were here after you had already left. Was the general public invited?

About the car ad: even more obscene than usual, I can't quite see the relationship with cycling. Am I the only one to perceive in it a metaphorical rape scene, with the victim coming back for more?

DbackLover said...

bike videos have struck back video is nsfw just so you know


dothebart said...

I saw that commercial in TV and sent Michael the link.
What you see is real obscene: by german law driving through a puddle and leaving a pedestrian (or cyclist) all whet is an act of bodily harm.
So here you have a tv commercial which shows an outright crime, and the victum sort of shows the Stockholm Syndrome, seems to become sexualy amazed and enters the car.. which is EMPTY?
This is what you find in accident reports of the police (and the CCs of this in the mainstream media): the _CAR_ is blamed for the crime, not the driver. This disconnection of vehicle and driver isn't done for cyclists however (which didn't wear a helmet, rode against the one way... whatever...)

but maybe Michael is right, they were just trying to show a beautiful human (with allmost all aspects) and didn't find a better way? Since usually if you look through a car window you don't see much more than of Bethoven in gypsum in the musee: the head and the verry upper body.

btw, I've heard of that f'500 commercial, but didn't find a link... real obscene too.

Nicolas Marchildon said...

I take it that we must blame the bicycle for not observing stop signs, and that man and women are needed to tame the mechanical creature.

Pepe said...

That's Buenos Aires City. Recente bike sharing policis weren't to wellcome by people. A big city, whit just it's firdt metrobus, just that bring a lot of debate, imagine bikelines. We need spread a lot the bikes in Argentina.