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Ad Nauseam Double Feature: Why Is the Auto Industry Now Advertising Bikes?

9:20 AM PDT on November 4, 2011

A couple of car-related ads in heavy NFL rotation caught my attention mostly for their emphasis, intended or not, on car-free transportation.

Exhibit A is from Geico, which as usual doesn’t use cars in its ads for car insurance. Instead, in this spot the company’s ubiquitous cartoon spokeslizard is depicted walking the center line of the Brooklyn Bridge bike-ped path, extolling the value of Geico auto, RV and motorcycle insurance. Then comes the caveat — “You want to find a place to park all these things? Fuhgeddaboudit! This is New York.” — before the lizard is almost squashed by a cyclist who yells at him for being in the way.

Whether you’re from the city or not, you’re in on the joke: New York is a place where space is tight and people are on the move. But also: You don’t need a car to live here, and in fact, you’re probably better off without the hassle.

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