30 August 2011

Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed


This fits perfectly into our Car Industry Strikes Back series. It is so car-centric that you'd place your money on the car industry if you had to guess who produced this Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed campaign. Thanks to our reader, Tony, for sending this along to us.

Amazingly, it is from a governmental organisation in South Australia - MAC, or The Motor Accident Commission.

"The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is South Australia’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer and provides $400 million each year in compensation to road crash victims.

MAC also manages the State Government’s road safety communications program and provides sponsorship funding for projects that aim to reduce the number and impact of road injuries and deaths."


Oh, wait. Car insurance. We've seen THAT before, haven't we?

What a brilliantly anti-bicycle campaign. A large sum of money was spent on hammering home the point to young people that bicycles are lame and that cars the only real, credible option for life in South Australia.

And check out their poster, too.




Marketing is needed badly if we are to promote urban cycling positively. Not marketing by avid cyclists. Not marketing by car-centric organisations. Real marketing aimed at Citizen Cyclists.

Double *

33 comments:

SteveL said...

You could do some some good spoof ones: man in a car driver pulls up a a copenhagen junction, sees a woman on a bike, gets ignored by her, as she waves at a man going across the junction:

"Drive to work and you are alone"

What it doesn't have is the marketing budget.

Notice how they use cheesy cycle helmets as part of the anti-cycle message. Nice.

Kim said...

One of the strongest messages of that ad was cycle helmets aren't cool. Interesting that the motor industry also spends a lot of money on promoting the same helmets as protection against its own products.

It is also interesting to note that the percentage of young people actually taking the driving test to get a driving licence is dropping steadily...

George said...

If you've ever spent time in South Australia you'd realize that cars are essential. Talking about Adelaide? Urban sprawl + fact that bike usage drops off after 5km = cars. What gets me though is this tiresome dichotomy car vs bike...erhm the LEV (with cabin or without) revolution is in progress. Time to include the excluded middle...

Edward said...

Welcome to Adelaide. Now you understand what an uphill struggle we have.

zmau said...

Of course you're screwed, you'll have to wear a helmet.

Montrealize said...

As everyone noticed, helmets are playing a crucial role in the uncool aspect of things.

Doug said...

"The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is South Australia’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer and provides $400 million each year in compensation to road crash victims."

The irony is if the MAC spent money getting teenagers out of cars completely, it would probably have to pay out less money in insurance claims each year.

Amy Walker said...

I thought the kids on bikes looked pretty cute - and the girls in the cars seemed like jerks.. perhaps others will as well...

B C Cletts said...

I know the CEO (or now retired CEO of a major UK civil engineering business. he avoids driving whenever he can. His time was - and is still too valuable to get tied up in driving a car.

So let's turn this one around "Do you still waste valuable time driving your car?" "Are you still paying out around 20% of your income on something you hardly use?" "Use your licence and you're screwed- financially" c

David said...

Even if we assume that the message of [helmeted] cycling is uncool, I don't see how effective this message would be anyway as a way to discourage drunk or irresponsible driving.

That pair, especially the guy on the front - who is presumably the one who lost his license due to the expression of embarrassment on the pusher - just do not look like the type who'd be losing their licenses for DUI anyway.

After all, what kind of drunk driver would concern himself with putting on a helmet, driving in a bike lane in the middle of a bunch of other lanes while obeying a traffic light, and, well, driving a tandem?

Ditto with the poster version. That chap looks, to put it bluntly, "nerdy" and again not the type who is going to drive drunk.

The target audience for anti-DUI messages ought to be the jerks who are prone to do that kind of thing. Using geeky-looking guys wearing helmets on bikes is going to have absolutely no resonance amongst the target audience.

tstreet said...

How about "Ride a bike and you don't have to worry about getting a stupid license."

Sykle said...

I've just lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Bureau of Australia. If anybody would like to back me up by lodging a complaint here's the place to do it. I'd like these guys to think twice before they belittle bikes again. http://www.adstandards.com.au/

domotion2011 said...

Australia has a blatant segregation attitude toward bikes and automobiles. With a mandatory helmet law on the books little hope that this attitude will change. In the US segregation is no less subtle with bikes and cars because of real racial segregation. So when there is suburban sprawl there are no bikes or black people. Where there are black people there are no bikes or whites. A few core cities in the US have "bike cultures" that get a lot of hype, leaving most cities with small enthusiast groups. The only change will come from bike riders that venture from their "safe"zone to the suburbs and ghetto. Takes time brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

"Ditto with the poster version. That chap looks, to put it bluntly, "nerdy" and again not the type who is going to drive drunk"

"The target audience for anti-DUI messages ought to be the jerks who are prone to do that kind of thing. Using geeky-looking guys wearing helmets on bikes is going to have absolutely no resonance amongst the target audience. "

I won't talk about the EFFECTIVENESS of this, but portraying the "if you are on a bike, you are a stupid nerd" message is EXACTLY what these people want to do. This is not unintentional at all. This is aimed squarely at the jocks/rednecks/whatever you call them out there.

TB said...

I agree with some of the other posts, the two guys on the bike looked like the stereotypical 'cool' guys with the trendy vintage bike and boombox etc, whilst the girls looked like stupid stuck-up losers in a daggy car... And I'm a young Australian, the target audience!

Overall, the ad seemed to be more blatantly anti-cycling than anything to do with road safety or driving safely.
weird.

Frits B said...

It's not just the uncool helmets. There's also the combination of two young men on a tandem with a child seat which cries "homo".

Ash said...

There's also a press release describing the rationale behind the campaign. My favourite quote:

“Losing their licence will affect their social life and may lead to a loss of employment or even access to studies.”

Heaven forbid I'm ever seen riding to work/study.

Paul in Minneapolis said...

Back in the mid 2000's Georgia child support ran an add that said poeple who don't pay child support ride bicycles.
Good ol US car-culure at its finest.

Ron D Swan said...

as an Australian... I am so ashamed....
I am a bit shocked this image was used in a government ad as we have come quite a long way image wise here... but we're based in another state so things must be a bit different here. Having said that, there does seem to be a ramping up of car/cyclist hate in the media and on the roads. I've been reading it more as a discrimination issue that is yet to become mandated against. Got to love humans sometimes.

Also as an Australian I didn't read the helmet issue as other commentators did as I'm just used to wearing the helmet has I have done since I was 10.

ubringliten said...

This is one reason why I don't want to visit Australia. I have plenty of cousins there but I still don't want to visit them. It is like America, too car-centric!

Ron D Swan said...

ubringliten: well I wouldn't go that far!
It is quite exciting to see the ground up cycling culture developing especially in the inner city areas.

Mitchell said...

Having recently moved to Adelaide from Melbourne, I have been pleasantly surprised by the cycling culture in Adelaide. I would argue that the ad is just plain wrong. More and more young people are simply not bothering to get a drivers licence and car because it is simply a silly financial decision. With cycling being viewed as a cheaper, faster and healthier option, it is swiftly becoming a fashion statement to be on a bike.

A recent CBD street party saw the majority of people turn up via bike. Just the thought of mentioning you drive would be bound to result in looks of derision!

Some people mention that places like Adelaide are too big to ride - I think thats a poor argument, if you are more than 10-15km from where you work or study - move! Workmates of my partner commute for an hour and a half each way - thats just plain idiotic!

Ron D Swan said...

Mitchell is right. We are seeing alot of money and energy going into creating great bikes that in past generations would have been spent on Holdens and Fords.

max said...

http://www.outdoorblog.it/post/4417/rishock-levoluzione-della-mobilita-alternativa-a-pedali


www.rishock.com

Anonymous said...

I cycled through town on my bike one night with a very nice blonde Polish girl side saddle on the back carrier. The whole thing just looked very cool, stylish and romantic, which it was. I was surprised how so many people took a aecond look with approval

Anonymous said...

I wrote to the South Australian Motor Accident Commission about this ad a few months ago. Their response consisted of the typical assortment of meaningless platitudes and slush-speak we all expect from politicians and government bureaucrats. In amongst it they said:

"[the ad is] meant to be humorous and certainly not denigrating any alternative forms of transport."

What the? The entire premise of the ad is to mock and belittle bicycle use - how anyone could then turn around and say it's not denigrating cycling is beyond me. Doublespeak at it's best (or worst).

Anonymous said...

Dreadful driving too. She was indicating left, but she didn't look left when she set off, and seeing how left turns in Adelaide have the pedestrian signal go to the green man she should have checked for pedestrians before moving.

Adelaide is flat and perfect for cycling. It's main arterials are unpleasant, but the back streets are great cycling routes. Some of the suburbs are just too spread out.

JSinAZ said...

Somewhat off-topic: I just returned from spending a few days in your lovely city, Copenhagen. We didn't have our bikes, but we did walk on plenty of sidewalks - speaking of which, can you tell me why the sidewalks are constructed with those two wide strips of parallel pavement, like paths for wheeled carts? Baby carriages, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I think this image encapsulates precisely why the RACV (automobile club) and their lackeys in the bureaucracy pushed so hard for cyclists to have to wear helmets.

John Harland

Corey said...

Watching this video, could anyone not agree that helmet advocacy is anti-cycling?

MN said...

As an Australian female within their targeted age group, i'd prefer 100 times over to be on the back of the cute boy's bike, than in that big 4WD with those daggy girls. i even like their helmets!!

Phillip said...

I've written to MAC.

Flood the department with complaints. It can't hurt them to know that people notice these things.

Elin said...

OMG this is so upsetting. I feel sorry for New Zealand (one of my absolut favourite countries by the way) to have had this stupid commercial slipping through! What is this, a scene taken out of a B-movie?? (Or was this sent in Australia, probably the car-friendliest country in the world?)
There is definately something to work for me to do the time i move to Australia... Great blog as always Michael.