Sunday, October 28, 2012

They use eroticism to sell cars, why not using it to promote bicycling lifestyles?

I think of the naked bike rides that take place in different cities of the world as being more like advertisements than protests. Give bicycling some erotic appeal. Why not? Eroticism is a powerful motivator.

Eroticism is likely to be a more powerful motivator than concern about global warming which is often cited as a reason for the nude rides. Problem is, one person's action is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the big picture of global warming. Whether you drive or bike, it isn't going to change the outcome of something as large as the melting of Greenland's icecap until huge segments of the population make that change. Where's the motivation for the individual?

On the other hand, getting into better physical shape and being around other cyclists who are often attractive and having a fun time; now that's an outcome that has a payoff for each individual.

I once heard a car company ad with the phrase, "the shape you want to be in." One can get into a sleek car, but one can also be on a bike and get into better shape.

Of course the WNBR rides aren't just for super attractive people. They are very inclusive events for a diversity of ages and body types. Unlike sports, or possibly the dating world, the rides are non competitive. People just come to have a good time. If one participates in the bicycling lifestyle, there can be a payoff in terms of physical fitness.

Another example of a personal motivator for cycling is the pocketbook. One who bikes can often see savings to their pocketbook. However, this motivation works best in times of high gas prices.

When more people bike for personal reasons as well as the less powerful motivators such as curbing global warming, it does help to curb global warming. An advertisement for the bicycling lifestyle with what they used to call "sex appeal" in the old days of TV commercials for Ultrabright Toothpaste.

The best appeal is to people who want to see the nudity. To people who show up to participate in and / or watch the rides. Also for folks who seek out the images on the internet.

The advertising message wouldn't work for folks who don't want to see nudity. It doesn't work for folks who don't wish to have nudity inflicted on them. I'm not as much of a fan of the rides being an in your face protest as I am in favor of the celebration side of the ride. That would mean cooperating with police who try and set up an area for the ride so it doesn't surprise too many folks that don't want to see it.

Still, inflicting nudity on an unsuspecting public isn't the end of the world. It's just not my main idea (though my views are different than some others who participate in the rides). I'm a bit less confrontational than some, even though here in Bellingham, it isn't confrontational compared to some other cities. It's a celebration.

Even if it's just an event where people go who already want to see nudity, that's fine with me. Then the riders can embed the messages of health and reducing global warming into the show. Rather than inflicting nudity where people don't want to see it, inflict messages of health and protecting the environment to the audience that does want to see nudity. That's a big audience.

Use sex appeal to promote bicycling.

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