I’m not a big fan of television adverts. Most of them seem to be targeted squarely at idiots and the other most of them are for products I would never dream of purchasing (even if I was a top international fashion model). In fact I have a kind of vague policy of black-listing anything which appears in a TV ad. Unless it’s chocolate flavoured. I genuinely loathe and detest adverts and for as long as I can remember I have actively sought not to watch them. But something happened the other night which has me and the kids actively seeking ad breaks and watching each advert with rapt attention.
We were watching Simon Cowell’s The X factor at the weekend. The ads came on and the first one, for some global financial corporation, had a bike in it. So did the next one, an advert for a small French hatchback. And the next one, this time for Amazon, and the fourth too, an advert for hair products. Four in a row, for products and services totally unconnected to bicycles or to the bicycle manufacturing industry. Sometimes in the background, sometimes as an integral part of the ’story’. It seems that no advert is complete at the moment without a Pashley Princess or a neon fixie.
We love trying to spot them (like ‘Where’s Wally’ but easier) our aim is to find an ad break in which every advertisement has a bicycle. But part of me resents it – advertising agencies cynically exploiting ‘our’ bicycles to their own ends. Because I’ll wager a penny to a pound that each and every one of those advertising creatives drives a bloody Car. And probably a Porsche. And probably a 911S. But certainly not a bike. And it’s really galling that so many damn car ads feature bicycles. Renault, Vauxhall, Honda et al. What the hell is going on there then?? Do they imagine that the inclusion of bikes in their adverts enhances their green credentials? I don’t know but it feels a bit perverse to me.
What we can cautiously deduce from the phenomenon of bicycles in the majority of adverts during peak family-viewing time is that cycling (for perhaps the first time since the mania of the 1890s) is now officially ‘cool and trendy”. Something that we cyclists knew all along. Is it a global penomenon? Perhaps our non-UK readers could watch a bit of telly and let us know.
So the kids and I are eagerly hunting the ad break in which all of the adverts feature bikes with eager anticipation, our Moby Dick – The 100% Bike Advert Break. It’s a very real possibility and it’s likely to be found on ITV on a Saturday night around 8:00pm.
And then, perhaps, I can go back to avoiding the damn things again!
And if there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that cycling is the coolest thing on the planet right now along comes Mark Ronson’s fab new song and video. For which all the groovy bicycles were supplied by Cyclorama Featured Retailer Ridelow.
So we’re all cool! You’re cool, I’m cool.
Yay. Now we just need to communicate that fact to the driver of the black BMW which cut me up before running a red light this morning.