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Giant Responds to GM Ad 22

Giant Bicycle Ad - Response to GM

Giant’s response to GM ad – photo found on reddit.com – view full size

Giant Bicycles has responded to GM’s anti-cycling advertisement by coming up with an ad of their own. It reads:

“Reality DOES Suck. Luckily bicycles don’t… In fact it’s the best thing you can do to save hundreds… even thousands of dollars a year. It doesn’t matter if you’re in college, young, or old. The only thing you have to lose is some weight.. and the burden of fuel prices”.

The ad compares the price of a Giant bike ($420) to a $27,300 Chevy truck as well as highlighting the annual fuel cost for the truck ($3,600).

The ad doesn’t even need to mention the insurance costs, parking costs, depreciation, repairs, registration, or maintenance. Or the fact that Americans work 2 hours each day just to pay for their cars.

“Stop driving.. start pedaling.”

i share the road

James D. Schwartz is a Transportation Pragmatist and the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

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  • http://www.joyofbicyclecommuting.com Micheal Blue

    Even though Giant created this ad to benefit from it themselves, still…go Giant go. I think that the time of a huge backlash against the urban use of cars is coming very close. The traffic jams are getting so frequent and so bad, that soon so many people will get fed up with the cars and seek alternatives…and there aren’t that many of them (alternatives). I’m not against cars at all. At the same time I think that the use of cars for urban transportation has been (in many instances) very stupid. Every weekday I pass so many drivers stuck in long jams on Lakeshore and Gardiner, sitting like stuck sheep in their (at the time) (barely) mobile prisons. I’m sure many (if not most) of them could easily use public transit, a bike, or a combination of both. They are just too lazy to do so…for now. To them I say: do you want to sit in the jam for 90 minutes,
    or bike the same distance for one hour, feel free, and get a nice exercise?
    Just watch, car companies: your great success will be your undoing, at least when it comes to city transportation.

    • Smit H

      Unfortunately, I think many of those prisoners in their car would rather sit in their car. You can’t (easily) text message, talk on the cell phone (unless you have a headset), eat, or play video games while riding a bike. Many of my co-workers think I’m insane for biking the ~6 miles to work at least twice a week. And I work in health care! But then again, these are the same folks who drive cars, smoke, don’t exercise and raid the vending machine on the daily basis.

      Can’t fix stupid. Well, you can, but you usually have to impact the wallet to do it.

    • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian

      People usually do what’s most convenient (path of least resistance). In the morning, it is much more convenient to get up, shower and jump in the car, even if you have to wait a bit in a jam, than to shower, pack the backpack, jump on a bike, pedal for an hour, and change into normal clothes for your day. It’s simpler and seemingly faster to drive.
      If you analyse the situation as a whole, with jams and other nuisances, then biking might be an easier alternative, but it just doesn’t seem so on a rainy morning.

      • Guest

        Of course what is truly convenient isn’t so obvious to people. So really what you’re left with saying is that convenience is more like habit and taking easy answers than anything which actually resembles making your life simpler or more convenient over the long-run.

    • Urban_Snowshoer

      For people who already live in cities, especially neighborhoods that are walkable and bikeable, bike-commuting and mass transit are already commonplace. The problem is that not every area in the U.S. is designed for bikes: many areas still rely on a car-centric model. This needs to change before bike-commuting can become widespread.

  • http://www.joyofbicyclecommuting.com/ Micheal Blue

    Even though Giant created this ad to benefit from it themselves, still…go Giant go. I think that the time of a huge backlash against the urban use of cars is coming very close. The traffic jams are getting so frequent and so bad, that soon so many people will get fed up with the cars and seek alternatives…and there aren’t that many of them (alternatives). I’m not against cars at all. At the same time I think that the use of cars for urban transportation has been (in many instances) very stupid. Every weekday I pass so many drivers stuck in long jams on Lakeshore and Gardiner, sitting like stuck sheep in their (at the time) (barely) mobile prisons. I’m sure many (if not most) of them could easily use public transit, a bike, or a combination of both. They are just too lazy to do so…for now. To them I say: do you want to sit in the jam for 90 minutes,
    or bike the same distance for one hour, feel free, and get a nice exercise?
    Just watch, car companies: your great success will be your undoing, at least when it comes to city transportation.

  • Smit H

    Unfortunately, I think many of those prisoners in their car would rather sit in their car. You can’t (easily) text message, talk on the cell phone (unless you have a headset), eat, or play video games while riding a bike. Many of my co-workers think I’m insane for biking the ~6 miles to work at least twice a week. And I work in health care! But then again, these are the same folks who drive cars, smoke, don’t exercise and raid the vending machine on the daily basis.

    Can’t fix stupid. Well, you can, but you usually have to impact the wallet to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/doc0c Octavian C.

    People usually do what’s most convenient (path of least resistance). In the morning, it is much more convenient to get up, shower and jump in the car, even if you have to wait a bit in a jam, than to shower, pack the backpack, jump on a bike, pedal for an hour, and change into normal clothes for your day. It’s simpler and seemingly faster to drive.
    If you analyse the situation as a whole, with jams and other nuisances, then biking might be an easier alternative, but it just doesn’t seem so on a rainy morning.

  • Guest

    Of course what is truly convenient isn’t so obvious to people. So really what you’re left with saying is that convenience is more like habit and taking easy answers than anything which actually resembles making your life simpler or more convenient over the long-run.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Giant’s ad is much closer to the truth.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Giant’s ad is much closer to the truth.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    For people who already live in cities, especially neighborhoods that are walkable and bikeable, bike-commuting and mass transit are already commonplace. The problem is that not every area in the U.S. is designed for bikes: many areas still rely on a car-centric model. This needs to change before bike-commuting can become widespread.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Part of the problem is cities and suburbs are still largely car-centric.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Part of the problem is cities and suburbs are still largely car-centric.

  • Tallycyclist

    Lovely ad! Finally, someone from the bike industry is fighting back against all the false marketing that have bombarded us by the car industries for decades. What I really appreciate about the ad are the reasons they use as arguments for the bicycle. In this case, it’s cheap, easy and fast (contingent on infrastructure and distance of course). There’s none of that cycling is “green” and “healthy.” These last two reasons are valid, but most people don’t have them as the top priorities of life.

    Now imagine if they had included other extra costs of car ownership, like maintenance, insurance, parking…and I really wish someone would work out the math for how much money is spent on road maintenance and building. Compare the total cost for each and the difference in the ad will look modest.

  • Tallycyclist

    Lovely ad! Finally, someone from the bike industry is fighting back against all the false marketing that have bombarded us by the car industries for decades. What I really appreciate about the ad are the reasons they use as arguments for the bicycle. In this case, it’s cheap, easy and fast (contingent on infrastructure and distance of course). There’s none of that cycling is “green” and “healthy.” These last two reasons are valid, but most people don’t have them as the top priorities of life.

    Now imagine if they had included other extra costs of car ownership, like maintenance, insurance, parking…and I really wish someone would work out the math for how much money is spent on road maintenance and building. Compare the total cost for each and the difference in the ad will look modest.

  • Karen

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s an issue of laziness. I think that it just doesn’t occur to most Americans that they can bike to work or take a bus, even if those options are made easier with decent bike infrastructure or good bus circulation times. It never occurred to me to take a bus from my urban neighborhood to my new downtown job until a friend mentioned that he enjoyed doing just that. Cars have been so engrained in American culture that many of us know of no other choice. If you were raised in the American suburbs then you probably probably abandonned your bicycle once you obtained your drivers license.

    • Tallycyclist

      The attitude, or lack of awareness, is definitely a major factor that has and continues to hinder a large increase in cycling in the US. I know in Denmark, many kids start cycling at the age of 3 or 4 and learn all the basic skills and signaling then. Since they have the infrastructure, most continue to ride through adulthood. They don’t have the “generational gap” issue that we do. And if we in the US don’t try and tackle this by training our kids to cycle soon, we’ll have at least 3 generations of people where cycling was never mainstream in their lifetimes. Even worst, things could look the same in decades from now if better progress is not made. There are some cities that are really moving forward like Portland, Minneapolis, etc. But by and large, things aren’t really changing much in the nation as a whole.

      The infrastructure should not be discounted. I think if our cities all had better infrastructure then more people will gradually try them and pass the word on. Change won’t happen overnight and it may very well take decades before we have numbers that even come close to those in northern Europe. But it all has to start somewhere. If the options aren’t attractive, it’s not much use to the masses even if they know about it. Our urban and surburban development would also need a major paradigm shift. We can still have suburbs. But options to get anywhere by bike should be made much better and safer. Copenhagen has lots of suburbs. But they all have separated cycle tracks that lead into the city so anyone can cycle downtown safely if they so choose.

  • Karen

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s an issue of laziness. I think that it just doesn’t occur to most Americans that they can bike to work or take a bus, even if those options are made easier with decent bike infrastructure or good bus circulation times. It never occurred to me to take a bus from my urban neighborhood to my new downtown job until a friend mentioned that he enjoyed doing just that. Cars have been so engrained in American culture that many of us know of no other choice. If you were raised in the American suburbs then you probably probably abandonned your bicycle once you obtained your drivers license.

  • Tallycyclist

    The attitude, or lack of awareness, is definitely a major factor that has and continues to hinder a large increase in cycling in the US. I know in Denmark, many kids start cycling at the age of 3 or 4 and learn all the basic skills and signaling then. Since they have the infrastructure, most continue to ride through adulthood. They don’t have the “generational gap” issue that we do. And if we in the US don’t try and tackle this by training our kids to cycle soon, we’ll have at least 3 generations of people where cycling was never mainstream in their lifetimes. Even worst, things could look the same in decades from now if better progress is not made. There are some cities that are really moving forward like Portland, Minneapolis, etc. But by and large, things aren’t really changing much in the nation as a whole.

    The infrastructure should not be discounted. I think if our cities all had better infrastructure then more people will gradually try them and pass the word on. Change won’t happen overnight and it may very well take decades before we have numbers that even come close to those in northern Europe. But it all has to start somewhere. If the options aren’t attractive, it’s not much use to the masses even if they know about it. Our urban and surburban development would also need a major paradigm shift. We can still have suburbs. But options to get anywhere by bike should be made much better and safer. Copenhagen has lots of suburbs. But they all have separated cycle tracks that lead into the city so anyone can cycle downtown safely if they so choose.

  • bobfairlane

    I’ve got the best of both worlds: a motor on my bicycle!

  • bobfairlane

    I’ve got the best of both worlds: a motor on my bicycle!