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Old 12-03-07, 07:11 PM   #1
Bionicycle
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No bicycle ads on T.V....Why?

Why don’t bicycle manufactures/companies advertise on television?

I can watch TV and never see an ad for Trek, Schwinn, Giant, or any bike company you want to name. It seems to me that if a bike company wants to change the way that the American people view cycling, that they would advertise on one of the most popular mediums available to them.

Most of the people that I know who don’t ride a bike, view bicycles as being for kids, or a hobby for racer want to be types. Or, worse yet poor people, or alcoholics without a drivers license, or a tree hugging environmentalist.

Why not have an ad that shows an adult riding to the convenience store, or commuting to work…and don’t show just the young and fit people riding a bike; show more of a realistic cross section of all ages, sexes and body types. I think they should show the more utilitarian side of cycling, along with the fun, and health benefits that can be gained. Most baby boomers grew up riding bikes, why not try to get them back on the bicycle again, by taking away the stigmatic view that most non-riders have of a person on a bicycle… What better way to reach most of these types than a TV commercial?

I personally think that the bike companies are missing out on a huge opportunity by not advertising on TV, especially in this day and age of thinking green. They have the opportunity to make riding a bicycle very hip and trendy, but most of all viewed as a viable means of transportation.

Oh well, I just wanted to express my thoughts on the matter… maybe I will have a bumper sticker made that says “My second car is a bicycle”, or something like that.

What do you all think: should bike companies advertise on television?
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Old 12-03-07, 07:22 PM   #2
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I believe you are right, about the power of advertising. Still, can they be blamed for thinking the television watching part of the population is not really their market. Really, some people watch tv from dinner to bedtime. They are going to spring for a wide screen long before they put down a fraction of that price for a bike.
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Old 12-03-07, 07:24 PM   #3
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What do you all think: should bike companies advertise on television?
They should, and they do. But they target their audience. You won't see bicycles advertized on "CSI:Miami" or "American Idol". But I've seen television ads for Trek, Cannondale, Specialized and Cervelo during cycling and triathlon programs.

It all comes down to costs and television ad effectiveness. Television is one of the most expensive ad mediums out there. Perhaps some bike manufacturers have discovered they get more bang for the buck running magazine ads or paying for dealer perks when they reach certain sales volumes. And with the increasing popularity of TIVOs, television ads are reaching fewer and fewer people.

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Old 12-03-07, 07:39 PM   #4
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schwinn had alot of commercials when they released the new stingray......not sure ive seen any others
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Old 12-03-07, 07:43 PM   #5
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Why aren't there ads for Titleist golf balls when I'm not watching a golf tournament?

Same reason. Target audience.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:00 PM   #6
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Why aren't there ads for Titleist golf balls when I'm not watching a golf tournament?

Same reason. Target audience.
Target sells Titleist?

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Old 12-03-07, 08:00 PM   #7
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Why aren't there ads for Titleist golf balls when I'm not watching a golf tournament?

Same reason. Target audience.
I agree, but I think with the right type of ad they could expand that target audience quite a bit. I never used to see hunting ads on regular TV, only on the outdoor channel, and so on. But, as of late I have been seeing Bas Pro Shop ads on at prime time on Fox news and other channels... I understand target audience, but I also understand preaching to the choir...
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Old 12-03-07, 09:01 PM   #8
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I think anybody that would be inspired to purchase by a bike commercial would probably head down to xmart to buy one.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:11 PM   #9
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In America we live in a car culture, not bike culture. Hence every other add is for a car or SUV. I wonder if advertisements are different on Copenhagen, Denmark TV....
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Old 12-03-07, 09:31 PM   #10
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In America we live in a car culture, not bike culture. Hence every other add is for a car or SUV. I wonder if advertisements are different on Copenhagen, Denmark TV....
The number of automobile and pharmaceutical TV ads remind me of the deluge of cigarette commercials of many years ago before they were banned. Just goes to show who has the big bucks to spring for today's high dollar TV airtime.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:32 PM   #11
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In America we live in a car culture, not bike culture. Hence every other add is for a car or SUV. I wonder if advertisements are different on Copenhagen, Denmark TV....
I hear you about the car ads, that is why I think bicycle manufacturers could somewhat fight fire with fire, so to speak. I have also wondered about TV in Europe and if they have bicycle commercials there… Maybe someone from that part of the world will share if they do or not…
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Old 12-03-07, 09:35 PM   #12
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I think anybody that would be inspired to purchase by a bike commercial would probably head down to xmart to buy one.
Yes, but that is good too... if it gets them on a bike. And, if they have a good time, where might they buy a bike to upgrade in a year or two? Maybe the LBS...
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Old 12-03-07, 11:27 PM   #13
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You would think that the running shoes are a big thing.
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Old 12-04-07, 03:19 AM   #14
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It's just economics. It costs thousands of dollars to run a single advertisement on commercial television, so the advertising has to increase sales by enough to cover that cost before it becomes a worthwhile exercise. That means each individual advertisement has to generate quite a few bicycle sales in order to cover the costs. On the other hand, selling a single car probably covers the cost of a number of advertisements -- hence the marketing bombardment in that direction. Let's face it, cycling is at best a niche market, so advertisers are always going to target areas with a higher concentration of potential comsumers than the general population, hence the number of advertisements in the average cycling magazine.

If you're really bothered by what's on television, just turn it off and go for a ride.
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Old 12-04-07, 04:38 AM   #15
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Kids' bikes are regularly advertised, so that's a big segment of the market right there.

I do agree that non-x-mart bikes could stand to be better advertised, as could the average LBS. I think the real question is, "Why doesn't the average LBS get an ad or two up on the local cable channels? They'd prolly hit their target audience pretty well during Adult Swim." I think an LBS that did a good job of advertising its Electras or "cruising concept" bikes could get some good bang for their buck thereby.

But then I remember that LBS's make their money off of selling parts and jerseys to the hardcore enthusiasts, and it all makes sense again. The bikes themselves have small margins, so it's less and less worth advertising them as the main draw.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:04 AM   #16
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Kids' bikes are regularly advertised, so that's a big segment of the market right there.

I do agree that non-x-mart bikes could stand to be better advertised, as could the average LBS. I think the real question is, "Why doesn't the average LBS get an ad or two up on the local cable channels? They'd prolly hit their target audience pretty well during Adult Swim." I think an LBS that did a good job of advertising its Electras or "cruising concept" bikes could get some good bang for their buck thereby.

But then I remember that LBS's make their money off of selling parts and jerseys to the hardcore enthusiasts, and it all makes sense again. The bikes themselves have small margins, so it's less and less worth advertising them as the main draw.
I regularly see adds for specialized and Cervelo on OLN. They are on so much I have resolved never to buy a Specialized or a Cervelo.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:56 AM   #17
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The only "bicycle advertisements" I've seen, outside of the commercials run on VS aka OLN during a cycling event, are those LandRider infomercials and for X-Games Bikes. But it's near Christmas, so you'll see a few more bike commercials aimed at the kids. It's like tennis, bowling, golf, etc etc...bike companies are only going to pay the ad rates if it reaches a target audience or age group that "has a higher probability" of becoming sales.

If gas prices keep going up, I would suspect people will demand/buy more hybrid or diesel car and trucks rather than look at alternative modes of transportation....although I have been seeing more and more people (adults) riding bikes the past few months. Looks more like they (adults) are riding bikes to make short runs to the local store or just for exercise rather than commuting or riding for more than a few miles. If you were a bike company, how would you market your bikes to those kinds of people? And what price points are potential buyers willing to spend up to? The "Urban Bike" or "City Bike" is a hot category right now...Wired News even ran an article about it a few months ago:
http://www.wired.com/cars/coolwheels...ke_urbanbikers
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Old 12-04-07, 07:58 AM   #18
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my bumper sticker would say my second car is a unicycle - but it would be on my bicycle... lol
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Old 12-04-07, 08:06 AM   #19
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Tons of Cervelo ads on Versus during TDF. And I saw an ad Sat. on NBC during the coverage of a triathalon, but don't remember the bike brand.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:27 AM   #20
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bikes DO get plenty of exposure, though - in SUV ads, medicine ads, family style geared ads - why bother to advertise if someone else is showing your products in prime time? my son tells me that Chuck's nemisis has a fine bike which he works on alot...
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Old 12-04-07, 09:34 AM   #21
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I almost got sick of seeing Cervelo ads during the TdF. ALMOST.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:33 AM   #22
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Very few unicycle ads in bike magazines
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Old 12-04-07, 11:04 AM   #23
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Maybe bicycles would be more in demand and usage would go up if our stores/malls/shopping centers were more bicycle friendly. If the roads were designed for the casual rider. If there was a safe easy place to park while you shop. If access to these places was easy. It's an interesting thought. Perhaps bicycling in general should be advertised to show the health advantages and how "green" it is to ride a bike in lieu of an auto. Maybe the bike manufacturers should get together and advertise collectively.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:29 AM   #24
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bikes DO get plenty of exposure, though - in SUV ads, medicine ads, family style geared ads - why bother to advertise if someone else is showing your products in prime time? my son tells me that Chuck's nemisis has a fine bike which he works on alot...
I do agree that I seem to see a lot more bicycle riders on TV in other ads anymore, that was what prompted me to start this thread in the first place. I wonder if the non-bicyclist watching those commercials ever get an idea to get a bike from watching an SUV, or Bank, or Bladder control drug commercial.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:35 AM   #25
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Why don’t bicycle manufactures/companies advertise on television?
Simple answer: Bang for the buck.

There just aren't enough cyclists to justify such a wide (and expensive) advertising net.

... Brad
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