Cycling in Britain is not half as popular as it could be. There might be lots of reasons for this and we could talk for hours bout them. The unsafe roads, the weather, the hills, the complete and utter failure to invest in any form of decent infrastructure. These are all good suggests but they’re all wrong.
The real reason? Marketing. Proper, coked up, devil worshipping, dog eating, marketing. The real nasty, evil shit that comes out of someone who used to convince pregnant ladies that cigarettes were good for their babies. The kind of ruthless bile that the Daily Mail uses to push it’s crack down the minds of middle class pensioners. The filth that Unilever use to peddle Marmite to an unsuspecting public. This is the stuff that cycle vendors need to adopt. It may seem an expensive step to take but my god it’ll be worth it.
The cycle industry really needs to take a leaf out of the book of the worst people in the world. These people push over a million direct deaths a year to their drooling addicts. Their product is way better at topping us and ruining lives than anything ever invented before and since. But you wouldn’t know it. These are the best. Their marketing is so slick it can make death look wonderful. It beautifies a gagging cloud, it perfumes a sickly mess of blood and guts. And most of us fall for it! I know I have. Oh how I desire this product and I’ve already got two!
I’m talking of course, about people who sell you cars. Not the showrooms or manufacturers. They’re just trying to turn an honest crust, honest. No, the real nasty, evil bastards who the cycle industry need to employ, are the people who make car adverts.
I’ll explain with pictures. Lets first look at how the masters do it.
SWEET JESUS! LISTEN TO THAT! You’ll never drive one in your life but you now want an AUDI. DON’T YOU???!!
Lets try another.
O M G !!!!!
BEN FRICKING KINGSLEY!!!!
Helicopters, mansions, film-quality production, driving like a cock on the embankment (it’s alright, it doesn’t encourage terrible driving). I bet that advert cost 20 million pounds to make but by god you want a Jaguar now.
Alright. Lets look at what the cycling guys have to offer.
OK, that was a bit unfair, how about this one?
Umm…..again. OK, lets pick the best TV advert for cycling ever made, ever. And it’s not that bad.
Eh? EH? You want to buy a bike now don’t you? No? No.
It’s not sexy is it? Most of them are wearing a helmet, they’re in a bike race for some reason (and as we all know, racing is actually the only thing you can do on a bike), there’s a crash near the end (try showing a car crash in a car advert) because cycling is dangerous and everyone who does it is a reckless bastard with attitude but at least it has ice cream.
So even Halfords, the best bicycle advertisers in the world with their £5523 advertising budget, isn’t really stepping up to the mark.
It wasn’t always this way of course. There was a bygone era when bikes were awesome and everyone wanted one. All the evil marketing people who didn’t work for the tobacco industry, worked for the bike industry. And boy, did they make bikes sexy.
HE’S ON A BIKE AND HE’S BEING CHASED BY A LION. BUT HE’S GOT A GUN!!
Whoever designed that could sell Lada’s!!! (Turns out it’s not a gun. Thanks Carlton)
Normal people looking normal and happy on a safe road! No safety equipment, no gloves or lycra, just people dressed like normal people, ON BIKES. It’s so far removed from what we expect it *could be* a car advert.
BOOBS!!! A FREAKING SWORD! LIBERATOR!
Is it a bike or a sex toy! I DON’T CARE! WHERE DO I BUY ONE?????
THAT is what I’m talking about. I don’t know when the car industry stole all the really ruthless marketing people who have absolutely no qualms about sticking a sword in an advert for a bicycle just to sell PRODUCT but it was clearly a turning point in the WAR (which is another very useful car marketing tool) between bikes and cars.
If we want to make cycling great again we need to stop with the nonsense, fill a couple of bins with cocaine and snorting champagne, get the long chequebook out and get those crazies to produce some SEX BIKE ADVERTS. We’re not going to produce change with a quarterly newsletter, only marketing that’s on fire is going to make this change happen.