Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bicycling in advertising - Citibank

I've been fascinated how bicycles and biking have come to represent so many things in life.

To those of us in the field of promoting bicycling and walking, bikes are a form of transportation, recreation, and sport. We use them instead of cars. We ride them hard to get our heart rate up. We see the countryside. We enjoy time with friends while pedaling. We compete with others.

But it has become obvious to me that bikes also are used to represent values and desires. Just as the classic apple pie and baseball used to represent American values and Mom in an apron meant home, a bicycle has come to represent many positive attributes.

Today I was reading an article on-line, and this ad for Citibank appeared on the page. As you can see from the photo to the right, it shows a guy taking a leisurely bike ride, probably in a park. The tag line is "take it 1.5% easier." Biking represents carefree. Note he is wearing casual, everyday clothes and not wearing a helmet. Biking in this sense is easy, safe, and can be done by anyone. Just like using a Citibank card?

I think it's great that biking is being shown in such a positive light, and I notice it more and more. Biking is considered an activity that is mainstream and desirable. Isn't that what we want?

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