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Bikes in Advertising: “You’re selling a lifestyle”

We’ve talked before about ads that dis on bikes (see the revoked GM ad), but let’s talk for a minute about companies that use biking in their ads to give them a “cool” factor.

At a clothing store I used to work at, I was told “you’re not just selling clothes, you’re selling a lifestyle people aspire to.” Biking has become the new shorthand for urban, healthy, hip, and eco-smart. I’ve had my eye on this factor for a while, but it really came to a head when I was at the gym last week and caught this little gem. Pay special attention starting at 0:51.

Really? I can only hope “American’s Power” is trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek, with a voice-over that describes “America’s most abundant, domestically-produced energy resource” over footage of a cyclist pumping his pedals. I’ve never thought I was fueling my bike with a “domestically-produced energy resource” while riding around town, but I think I’ll start to.

On further inspection of the internet, I found some other great examples of companies using bikes to give their product an edge. Blackberry seems to be trying to cut itself off from its stuffy, Capitol Hill reputation with this ad featuring fixies:

So hip! So fun! So….Blackberry?

I also found this little ditty from Kaiser Permanente. We already knew the insurance company loves bikes; they generously support bicycle advocacy in communities across the country. And, while some of the riders could benefit from taking our Traffic Skills 101 class, this ad perfectly captures how biking can be a fun, effective travel option for folks (and animals!) of all ages.

At the end of the day, it’s great to see companies realizing the power of the bicycle. The more we can normalize biking in American culture the better, and double points for us if part of this normalization is putting cycling in such a cool and healthy light.

Anyone out there have some links they’d like to share in the comments?


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