Even though it is becoming quite commonplace to see bikes used in advertising not directed at the sale of bikes or bicycling accessories, it is still heartening to see them in such ads, and with Father’s Day around the corner, bikes are a prominent part of the marketing campaign that is going on. In the above photo of a page from our Sunday paper, the bike is not advertised for sale, it is simply assumed that owning a bike is part of every dad’s lifestyle. Also in the same spread, there is an ad for a folding bike, a must for many dads …I have also seen ads employing the image of a bike when trying to sell things as diverse as cars, clothes and insurance, surely a sign that the humble bicycle is becoming ubiquitous. In the case of car ads, the bike was included as an accessory – an advantage of owing the car was that you could transport your bike to a remote offroad riding track. So the bike is still just another recreational consumer item in this context, although the folding bike in the Sunday paper is a reassuring sign that bikes for transport is a part of the message of the ad.
In less favourable-for-cycling advertising, bikes have been used to identify the loser that noone wants to become, though I am happy to say that those ads get withdrawn quickly after public pressure is applied to the advertiser, as this one was: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8lZT-L1ARo&feature=player_embedded