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> ...What we really need is a total image make over...
> ...Car companies sell a lot of product not on the basis of utility, but
> rather to "enhance" or provide entry to a preferred lifestyle. We need to learn and
> act on a lesson from them...
Here you goif traffic solutions were serious about what it was doing, it would
fund something like the ad campaign described below:
15 and 30 second TV spots to transform the way our culture views bicycling for transportation
Fade in to scene from the roof of a multistory concrete parking structure in downtown Los Angeles. About a dozen office workers crowd around a very flash new sports car, a red convertible. The crowd is male and female, mixed racially and their appearance ranges from homely to supermodel. The man behind the wheel of the convertible is ordinary looking, and pretty pudgy.
Crowd: tittering; ohh, ahh, etc.
Driver (obviously relishing this expensively bought attention): babbles about features of cars, etc.
Pretty woman in the crowd (elbows prettier woman next to her): Look who's coming!
First a few, then the whole crowd turns as, incongruously, a man approaches on a funky three speed bicycle. He is obviously worked up from his ride to the top of this place; breathing hard, sweat streaming down him in sheets. He is well-tanned, so healthy and fit that it is breathtaking....
As the rider pulls up, the camera pans very slowly and seductively from his black leather shoes, up his sweat-stained brown long pants, black leather belt, the brown silk jacket over his arm, naked stomach muscles, pecs with sweat running down in rivulets on the still heaving chest...this view could be a close up of your dream lover over you in bed...then to his face, which is innocent, open and smiling...
Rider: Excuse me, but I'm new to the firm...could you tell me where the bike racks are?
Invoking memories of everyone's' painful childhood dream of looking down on the playground to find that one is not wearing anything, The camera cuts for a split second to the driver of the convertible, who is stark naked, squirming in his seat. The viewer shares his painful awareness that the facade of the expensive sports car, in light of the Greek god on the thrift store bicycle, only highlights the ordinariness of his body, which is flaccid, pale white and blotchy.
Crowd (shuffling and shifting)
Most beautiful female office worker (stepping to the fore): We'll, we usually ride our bikes as well (looks to the almost as beautiful women on either side, who nod agreement, though their expressions betray their uncertainty) and the bike racks are, uhh, (she looks to her girlfriends, for help, one of whom points towards a dark corner by the elevator) over there! (she points triumphantly, and incredibly, there is actually pitiful little token bike rack).
15 second spot fades out here, with the entire crowd slack-jawed, eyes riveted on the rider as he gracefully dismounts to attend to the mundane task of locking his bike, which somehow takes on nearly supernatural significance in the context of the paradigm wreckage the rider has innocently left in his wake. The words "Healthy is sexy, ride a bike" fade on to cover the entire screen as the scene starts to fade, then, these words themselves fade, and the superbowl comes back on...
30 second spot goes from the bike locking fade to a series of rapid cuts of various members of the crowd; about 1 second each:
A guy hauling a junk bike out from a pile of boxes in the back of his garage and blowing the dust off;
A woman fixing a flat on a fancy, but long unused road bike;
A guy trying to talk his teenage son into letting him borrow his mountain bike;
A guy trying to tie his briefcase onto a rack with twine, as it keeps falling off;
The end of an argument at a car dealership; The driver stomps off on foot with a final arm wave, leaving the red sports car at the feet of the screaming dealer,
and 3 sec:
The supermodel/crowd spokeswoman in a private moment in front of the mirror, decked out in the sexiest lycra riding outfit you've ever seen, turns sideways to the mirror and sucks her tummy in;
Then the camera cuts abruptly to the parking structure, where there is a growing crowd of cyclists around this pathetic rack. Everyone is busily flirting while trying to appear not to be. The original rider is putting on his white shirt and brown jacket, with help from beautiful woman around him. Somehow it is clear that in this new reality, nothing could be more appropriate than having giant drooping wet spots under your arms, or having your shirt stick to you so that someone feels obligated to help slide it on. Just as the first people are about to start drifting off to the office, a shout goes up and everyone turns to see the former sports car driver, drenched in sweat, very red faced and huffing up on an extremely fancy bright red dual suspension racing mountain bike. A cheer and clapping goes up from the crowd. The camera cuts close to the faces of the inner circle, where the supermodel is bending down to kiss the former driver, with all sorts of gorgeous torsos and legs in the background. As this scene fades, the "healthy is sexy, ride a bike" slogan covers the screen, then blinks out.
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