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.
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.
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.