Commuting by Bike – When Does a Trend Go Mainstream

Posted: October 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling, Sustainability | No Comments »

Momentum Magazine was on it, as was Copenhagenize, who wrote a great article on it and the PathLessTraveled, each sounding the alarm about GM’s tone-deaf ad trying to persuade an already in-debt audience (students) to get further into debt and out of shape by buying car to save face. Here’s the ad:

Outdated and I'm not talking about the bike

There’s been so many great responses to the ad and even Giant got into the act with a super ad in response that I don’t think I have anything to add. Well, maybe just one question. What do GM and (and now) Zipcar know about the emerging commuter culture that has them on the defense like this? Are they responding to a shift in the market or just trying to appeal to the next generation of car owners? If you believe in the product marketing maxim that if you get them early, you get them for life then maybe it’s the latter. But maybe, just maybe we are beginning to see a shift from perceiving commuters as outliers and recognizing the real health and financial benefits of cycling over driving. Perhaps the misconception of a sweat-drenched, hemp-wearing, Huffy-riding commuter on their way to work at a co-op is changing to be one of everyday folks: office workers, parents, kids, educators, students, etc using a cleaner, cheaper, healthier way to get around. I’m not suggesting that cars will be replaced by bikes anytime soon but it’s refreshing to see that an alternative way of getting around is being perceived as less alternative.

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