Bikes and Billboards

24 Aug

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.

~Ogden Nash, “Song of the Open Road,” 1933

When you throw litter on the street, you’re liable to get a fine. But when – as a business – you throw a billboard across a view, you’ll most likely be richly rewarded. Since advertising is such big business, we have messages invading our lives to the point where children refuse to eat anything that hasn’t danced on TV. It is something we cannot avoid.

We can, however, avoid billboards spoiling our views. When visiting Amsterdam last week, we saw nice examples how this is done: billboards on bicycles. It’s advertising’s next frontier, and we’re thrilled by it.

Not (only) because we operate a bicycle business and see an opportunity, but because with advertising like this, billboards become movable, don’t spoil the view, and bring colour and coolness to the urban landscape.

GrapeDistrict (an Amsterdam wine boutique – www.grapedistrict.nl) operates a delivery bike with a design that emulates the wines it sells. And the Flemish bakery Vlaamsch Broodhuys uses their house style delivery bike to bring loaves through town.

Granted: you’re still exposed to businesses trying to convince you to buy their product. However, we believe that one of the greatest dangers of advertising is not that of misleading people, but of boring them to death.

With billboard bikes, at least, that danger seems mitigated.

One Response to “Bikes and Billboards”

  1. John August 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    This is a great idea so long as they do not leave a Bike locked to a Parking stand that someone needs to use. In a few places in Dublin they do this with an Old Fashioned Bike sometimes like a Butchers or Messengers Bike.

    I seen a young Guy on a Three Wheeler Bike with a big Box Van on it Advertising some Restaurant Cycling outside the front of Trinity College at the bottom of Grafton Street one Saturday.

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