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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Advertising the car free city!

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... From: Greg Steele With this in mind advertising transit should depict the transit rider as sexier, more powerful, smarter, etc.
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 2, 2004
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Greg Steele <thegisguru@...>

      With this in mind advertising transit should depict the transit rider
      as sexier, more powerful, smarter, etc. because they use transit
      rather then put us with the drudgery of driving themselves, through
      traffic congestion to get where they need to go.

      Any ideas as to how to communicate this message, and is there
      agreement that this is a good message to communicate?
      ====================================
      I've often pointed out to folks that there's not much status, and certainly not dignity, in being an unpaid chauffeur, a "machine tool," as I put it (see http://www.newcolonist.com/rr29.html towards the end of the ramble....). That's one part of it. The boredom of being alone all the time, with only a view of the bumper in front of you, when you could be reading,/talking/sleeping/whatever on the train, and so forth.

      If anyone's willing actually to put in time on this with me I am willing to work on ad outlines or actual ads. Trying to place them's another thing, as http://www.adbusters.org has found out, but I have some ideas for more positive, maybe a little playful, advertising for the concept.

      We also gotta sell the on-the-ground reality, but we don't have one quite yet. Getting close, though, thanks to progressive mayors around the globe.


      Richard
    • Matt Dobbing
      Greg, thanks for your response. I agree with your points about advertising, the empty road and reality! but advertising is i suppose aspirational. I think
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 3, 2004
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        Greg, thanks for your response. I agree with your points about advertising,
        the empty road and reality! but advertising is i suppose aspirational. I
        think that car advertising plays on the idea of empowerment and freedom a
        great deal. It is also targeted at the individual. These are easy things to
        do. It is harder I think to make mass transit seem to be empowering and
        giving more freedom to the user. I'm not saying this is the reality of mass
        transit but it is (perhaps) the impression of mass transit. Of course as has
        been pointed out in this thread, the car doesn't empower people or give them
        more freedom generally but that is not its perception.

        This is what I'm sure we all find infuriating in the debate about car use.
        It is not the reality that is discussed! As you comment the car industry has
        spent all this money trying to convince people that they will feel sexy etc.
        Perhaps it has worked!!!!!!!!!

        I would guess that you would promote all the quality of life benefits of the
        city without cars. But this is a group benefit. the car lobby will I imagine
        say you are sacrificing personal freedom for a group benefit, I reckon that
        although this might be perfectly sensible it doesn't play well with
        voters/consumers!!

        Perhaps 'our' advertising could hold up some of the costs of driving against
        the cost of transport in the car free city. Cost of driving a car = this per
        year, cost in our city = this per year. Perhaps then offer 'aspirational'
        suggestions about what you could do with the money you have saved?

        Finally, thanks for dinner party facts!!! anybody got anymore?!

        Matt

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      • Greg Steele
        I think that anything that gets too number oriented will not be as effective as in an advertisement as something that goes for the emotions. E.g. a cost
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 3, 2004
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          I think that anything that gets too number oriented will not be as
          effective as in an advertisement as something that goes for the
          emotions. E.g. a cost analysis of car ownership verse use of
          transit, in fact this enforces the idea that transit is for those
          that cannot afford a car – making it that much more of a status
          symbol.

          I can image several approaches to the use of time as the selling
          point. A TV ad – cars sitting in traffic… closes ups of faces
          showing anger and frustration… [they are powerless]… cars are at a
          complete stand-still. One of these frustrated drivers (different
          version could show people of different age, race, gender) says out
          loud – "That's it I have better things to do with my time." He/she
          gets out of their car and walks way… leaving it in the middle of the
          highway turned parking lot, ala the REM video for "everybody hurts."
          The last five-ten seconds show this same person on a train (different
          version would show the person reading, sleeping, talking to other
          people, using a cell phone, a laptop computer, etc.)
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