Why have creative departments gone mad for bikes?

COMMENT: The world of marketing has gone cycle crazy

Bikes. They’re everywhere at the moment. And I’m not just talking about on the roads.

Time was that a brand would be doing things differently and partaking of some ‘blue sky thinking’ if it featured a bicycle or two in its adverts, whether in a magazine, online or on the telly. Nowadays, you can’t move for the bleedin’ things cropping up in the middle of Coronation Street, with some fashionable type (or meerkat) wheeling down a trendy high street catching admiring glances from some suitably handsome, well-dressed onlookers.

Even car adverts have got bicycles in them. And since when did a car brand show off how good it was by manufacturing a high-end road bike? I thought cars and bikes were supposed to be warring tribes? 

But then it’s not just adverts. With sit-up-and-beg bikes fittingly nicely into current vintage and shabby chic trends, those two wheeled buggers are popping up on t-shirts, posters, shop window displays, cupcakes, bunting and pretty much anything else you could think of. Where will it all end?

So, what’s all this about? Doesn’t everyone hate cyclists on the road? Somehow, somewhere deep down in the psyche of creative folk everywhere bicycles became something positive, where being associated with them was ‘a good thing’.

Was it Beijing and British success at the pinnacle of the sport? Even the revelations of Lance have failed to dent that – perhaps the Armstrong scandal has been outweighed by the sheer weight of British sporting success in cycling. Unmistakably, on balance, cycling is still seen as desirable.

Regardless of the specifics of what it was that led to the nation discovering that it was allowed to like bicycles again, there’s no denying that either way, brands, fashion houses, car manufacturers, music promoters and pretty much everyone else has jumped on the bicycle bandwagon.

It’s been a long road for cycling (metaphor ahoy), no doubt with many more twists and turns in the road ahead. It remains to be seen whether the popularity of two wheels will plummet or whether it will continue to climb.

Obviously I’m hoping for this trend to continue. All this subliminal advertising is going to pay off one day and translate into rocketing cycle sales. In the meantime, I’m off to decorate my house in bicycle bunting.

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