Green Bikes

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Your Stomach, Your Adventure

It’s summertime! It’s the season when people decide they’re going to try riding a bike for the first time.

If you’re going to be in New Haven you’ll have to watch out for the wobblies.

I’m not talking about the International Workers of the World (IWW), though I’ve heard our Board of Alders is stacked with loyal union members. I mean those people who look like they’re riding a bike for the first time.

And, maybe they are! So give them extra room, and time to learn. They’ll get the hang of it.

It’s as easy as renting a green bike {insert corporate sponsor}

But, then again, some people don’t want to rent a green bike.

For one, the rental program is called Bike New Haven. There are literally several people in New Haven who know of ‘Bike New Haven’ only as a blog. Those people have already been coerced and paid to read this blog, and we shouldn’t make them suffer further by confusing these 2 brands.

Speaking of brands, green bikes are only made possible with the addition of large advertising panels placed squarely on public sidewalks.

So far, McDonald’s signed on, plus Coors and Heineken. The price was cheap for them. They love cultivating demand (planting seeds) especially in the minds of children.

Kids are easily duped to become new consumers and then, if all goes according to plan, brand loyalists. In fact, kids younger than 5 years old are the most susceptible to lies in advertising.

Research has shown that their brains are not yet ready to distinguish the make-believe world depicted in an ad from a real environment. For that reason they probably shouldn’t be subjected to ads of any kind since it’s such an unfair playing field.

McDonald’s, Coors, and Heineken know that if they can market their products as fun, cool, smart, or cheap they have a winning play against a defenseless, young demographic. That’s why the initial ads that rolled out with the bike rental program were explaining how cheap and accessible McDonald’s can be. If you’re an adult you’ve already heard this. But the kids…

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Can you point me to the nearest McDonald’s?

McDonald’s actually resurrected the ‘Dollar Menu’ earlier this year for fear of losing their most essential customer base. That is, those consumers with little cash, and who reside in food ‘deserts’.

They realized that trying to market their brand as ‘simple and fresh’ (and implicitly more expensive than before) wasn’t going to work in markets like New Haven.

So they went back to what works: cheap and calorie-rich; more bang for your buck than a piece of kale, or whatever your doctor told you to eat.

We’ve already seen their ads all over TV, and then more recently plastered on CTTransit buses. Now they’ll be blocking your path on the sidewalk, asking you to donate to a lost cause.

Now, thankfully the McDonald’s and Coors ads are gone. Their terms are up, and Heineken will be gone by the end of August.

The newest advertisements belong to the Hartford Line, and that’s a big improvement. But, who knows what other companies will buy up that space in the future. It’s a bargain price with an excellent return on investment. And, as far as we’ve been told, it’s first-come, first-served.

If you have the money, you can advertise on our sidewalks.

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