Friday, August 31, 2007

[Cyclelicious] New comment on Eurobike Friday news.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Eurobike Friday news":

I don't want to detract from your Eurobike coverage, which is fascinating because I have no money and can only dream, but I do want to discuss your comment about the knog marketing.

You know, that knog advertising is more mainstream than most bicycle advertising. They're not selling a bike product to a cyclist that can't wait to replace the bearings of their headset with the latest plutonium-alloy ball bearings or pick up the latest Formula One-inspired bottle cages.

They're selling bags and clothes. Fashion accessories. Accessories that you wear on a bicycle. Compare it with any fashion house website, like Prada. You'll find similar imagery.

This leads me to a long rant (don't worry, I'm going back to after this). I think most bicycle product advertising is missing sex appeal. As we know in these United States, sex sells stuff. How many custom framebuilder websites does one see with pictures of a bike leaned up against what looks like a post-Katrina garage door, or an overweight male in his 60s perched precariously over an extremely well produced custom lugged steel frameset? Or Specialized/Trek/Giant/etc. with pics of bikes against a high contrast abstract background, with the bicycle to be sold as some sort of Platonic ideal? You think that's going to move product?

This knog website, with the girls making out and other images of both swarthy men and sultry women isn't weird marketing at all - this is what moves product in the rest of the consumer fashion sphere.

I might be drunk right now (it is Friday night and I'm home early from the pub), but I'm positively sure that only after a 15 year period of bike manufacturers and retailers using adverts that feature attractive men and women using bicycles in mostly undressed fashion will we in these United States see the desire for bicycle transportation become truly mainstream. I base this on my belief that it's foolish to think forcing guilt upon the American populace for expelling invisible carbon gases will make people get out of gas guzzlers and into healthy forms of living.

People buy gas guzzlers because they're insecure about their individual image and think that peers will think better of them and their sexual prowess because of the ownership of a vehicle that, to many, is a cultural display of virility. This isn't just SUVs, I'm going to include two door automobiles above $30,000 in this and four door automobiles above $40,000.

People don't buy bikes because they think only health nuts or children ride the two-wheeled deathtraps. Elevate the bicycle to the level of a 'must-have' accessory, like a Prada handbag or Hermes scarf, and introduce that same level of exclusivity, and bicycle sales will take off. The only way to do that is to market bicycles and their gear with statistically underweight men and women (or triathletes) in revealing -designer- clothing. Package it as a sexy lifestyle choice. Look at how cars, Abercrombie and Fitch, and rock and roll have been sold. Even Dell uses attractive models in skimpy outfits to unveil its new computers.

Alright, I'm done. Thanks for the coverage, Fritz. I'm going to go drool over that SRAM red powerdome now.

Posted by Anonymous to Cyclelicious at 8/31/2007 09:14:00 PM