Ad Nauseum: Thrive

Finally, an advertisement that portrays cyclists as well-adjusted and happy human beings who love their chosen mode of transportation instead of people looking to save money on car insurance, people too poor to afford a car or insects.  This pleasant ad from health care giant Kaiser Permanente makes a clear statement that cycling is a smart thing to do if you care about your community and want to live a healthy life.

The first three quarters of the advertisement is nothing more than a pleasant sounding song about doing activities in the sun played over film of a diverse group of people biking around town.  For the last 15 seconds, the music is replaced by a female narrator who drives the point home that cycling is a clean and healthy way to move from place to place:

We believe that good health belongs to everyone, that it’s more than some card you keep in your wallet.  It’s the air we breathe, the food we eat, the community we live in.  We’re Kaiser Permanente and we’re here to spread the health.

Some of the commenters at bikecommuters.com noticed some problems with the video, but others agreed with me that they’re not seeing the forests for the trees.  After all, isn’t it nice to see a corporation portraying cycling as something good to do in their television ads?

  • Cal Godot

    Cycling is not healthy in LA unless you wear a gas mask or respirator, and confine yourself to sidewalks rather than crowded streets where cars bump you and speed away. Of course, sidewalk cycling is both illegal and not safe/healthy for pedestrians. Not that it keep LA cyclists from doing it, inspiring thoughts of clotheslining or spoking sidewalk cyclists. (Hasn’t this city ever heard of bike lanes?)

    But it is nice to see a corporation portraying cycling as a moral act.

    Bikecommuters.com is a collection of goonies and loonies who think cycling is next to godhood (except for the ones who think cycling is godhood). I’d sooner trust the opinions of a blogger before those zealots.

  • I think this is great, but I would like to point out that poor people aren’t bad. There are poor people who are well adjusted and also happy. They aren’t portrayed that way, but in LA where we have alot of poor people I think it’s important to point out that it’s not a mental health issue or moral issue to be poor.

    As the consumer culture tries to dictate that we drive a car to be successful, the consumer culture also dictates which socio-economic group we should strive to be, regardless of the attainability or even the sustainability of everyone having a credit card, cable, a 1000+ square foot house and a car (even an electric or bio one).

    Of course we all know this, but we should be reminded of that. This blog is about sustainability and consideration for all humans regardless of socio-economic status is a big part of that.

  • Absolutely, Browne. I wasn’t trying to say there was something wrong with being poor, and if it was taken that way by anyone I apologize.

    It is pretty clearly the message in that Auto Zone commercial is that to be considered a success you have to have a car, and I was taking a little jab at them, but I understand how my choice of words could lead people to think I was bad mouthing people based on their incomes.

  • “I wasn’t trying to say there was something wrong with being poor” DN

    I totally know that. I was just reminding myself, seriously, because you could go on my blog right about now and probably pick about five instances of what I said we should all be mindful of.

  • Cal, have you ever biked in L.A. or are you just repeating the same excuses? The weather is great here, it’s relatively flat, and there are many small streets that go through if you don’t feel like dancing in traffic.

    I know plenty of sane people without a political agenda, good jobs, and nice cars who leave them in the garage and get around by bike here. They don’t consider themselves advocates, they’re just sensible people who have tried something before they knocked it and loved it and didn’t quit when curmudgeons like yourself told them they were crazy.

  • Unfortunately, I think the bicycling community looks down on some of us occasional cyclists, who dare to buy bicycles at Wal-Mart and not wear the right attire. As bicycle commuting broadens to include more regular folks, and not the bike enthusiasts that are every bit as snobbish as the car enthusiasts in the parking lot of In-N-Out, we’ll make political progress. Allison Janney is great as a narrator, BTW.

  • I’m “Waiting for [Cal] Godot” to get a clue and/or STFU. What a mal-informed tool.

  • And what exactly is this “bike community” that calwatch believes snobbishly looks down on so-called People Who Are Not Them? Lumpsum much?

    Just enjoy riding your bike and who cares where you got it or whether that triathageek or Lycracrat or fixster looks down on you when they should be watching the fucking road anyway.

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