12 Ads with Bikes: How Bikes Sneak Into Main Stream Advertising

Saving on fees makes you a lot happier (for as long as it lasts) at PC Financial.
Saving on fees makes you a lot happier (for as long as it lasts) at PC Financial.

Remember the time that cycling was associated with either racing or  enviro-types who cycled out of principle? Those bearded types in home knit sweaters and goat wool socks, with safety vests, mirrors, reflective straps, and a milk crate duct-taped to the bike?

That time when banks, consultants, coffee shops and drug stores had no desire to be associated with anything that remotely resembled a bicycle or their riders? When cycling had a negative association? When people felt bad for you when you arrived by bike?

But times are achanging.

When even bankers start to advertise with cycling images in their ads, you know society is changing. Note that none of the ads are actually saying: “thou shall cycle” but that they want to associate their brand with cycling. Because I guess advertising agencies are telling that cycling is what their target groups are doing nowadays.

Here are ten pictures of ads I took in Ottawa over the last two years in different shapes and forms.

An article about retirement and an ad about Florida.
An article about retirement and an ad about Florida.
A cardboard display at Starbucks on Laurier.
A cardboard display at Starbucks on Laurier. (actually it is illegal in Ottawa to cycle with one hand on the bars and carrying something in the other hand.)
Las year, IKEA carried a poster in their store. Great to promote biking, but I was there because a 2 cent piece in my lamp broke and it couldn't be replaced.  So far for promoting the environment.
Last year, IKEA carried a poster in their store. Great to promote biking, but I was there because a 2 cent piece in my lamp broke and it couldn’t be replaced. So far for promoting the environment.
A billboard at Sparks Street. Not sure why the Canadian Bankers Association advertises (as if we have choice), but no doubt this guy  has a great pension.
A billboard at Sparks Street. Not sure why the Canadian Bankers Association advertises (as if we have choice), but no doubt this guy has a great pension.
They could have  chosen for an ad with in situ soil remediation, but instead the choice fell on an image with bikes.
They could have chosen for an ad with in situ soil remediation, but instead the choice was an image with bikes.
Condo development in downtown Ottawa. An innovative way of cycling for sure. As Don Cherry would say: "Don't try this at home kids".
Condo development in downtown Ottawa. An innovative way of cycling for sure. As Don Cherry would say: “Don’t try this at home kids”.
OC3: Ottawa Collaborative Care Centres cold have used an image of a  doctor with silver hair in a white coat, stethoscope around the neck, , holding reading glasses in his hand, but instead chose for cyclists.
OC3: Ottawa Collaborative Care Centres could have used an image of a doctor with silver hair in a white coat, stethoscope around the neck, holding reading glasses in his hand, but instead chose for cyclists.
Shoppers Drug Mart,has this image on the store windows for years now. Bought by Lablaws, expect leek and toilet paper sticking out of that basket soon too.
Shoppers Drug Mart has this image on the store windows for years now. Bought by Loblaws, expect leek, baguettes and toilet paper sticking out of that basket soon too.
Harry Rosen on the Globe and Mail's mobile site.
Harry Rosen on the Globe and Mail’s mobile site.
TD Bank has chosen for cycling too.
TD Bank has chosen for cycling too.
Yes, jam or shall we say confiture, for the hungry cyclist.
Yes, jam or shall we say confiture, for the hungry cyclist.

And when even Mike Ross, aspiring lawyer in the USA Network TV series Suits, is seen cycling in New York in suit and tie on a regular basis, you know cycling is becoming a new normal.

Mike Ross (right) happily cycles through New York on his bike in the TV Series "Suits". (photo: USA Network).
Mike Ross (right) happily cycles through New York on his bike in the TV Series “Suits”. (photo: USA Network).

I trust that the City of Ottawa’s communication folks understand that communicating cycling as a positive thing helps build Ottawa’s image of an active city where people want to work and live. If the big corporations start to get it, why not copy them. (video).

Same day update: the City contacted me already an hour after this post was published with the request to use some of this photo material.

Strictly speaking these are not all ads, but it is just easier for me to write the blog without having to dig up Philip Kotler’s Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, and Control again.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “12 Ads with Bikes: How Bikes Sneak Into Main Stream Advertising

  1. You mention it is illegal in Ontario to cycle while carrying an item in one hand. My understanding was that this was actually a City of Ottawa bylaw. Is there a section of Provincial law I am unaware of?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s