A few weeks ago a new TV ad from the national bicycle awareness campaign was released, regarding bicycle lighting, called ‘Get noticed [or: stand out] on your bicycle’. A returning theme during fall and winter, as days get shorter and darkness drapes these low lands earlier and earlier. Have a look.
The pay-off: “If you want to be noticed, just turn on your lights.”
The thing to take note of here is not just that it has a positive tone or that it’s ‘hip’, but that this has been this way for years. There’s one overarching campaign theme, ‘Daar kun je mee thuis komen’ = ‘That will get you home’ + ‘You will have something to show for’, from which it’s easy to ‘hang’ all types of cycling-related issues.
The key with everything regarding cycling is being consistent. Divert from that, and nobody will take you seriously anymore. Even the Dutch, when some were ticketed for using clip-on lights and some where not. Debates ensued and laws were amended and voila, morphed into the campaign. Consistency, I tell ya, because even in Amsterdam, a city with a long history of ‘unwritten cycle rules’ and a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude I see things have changed for the better. Never mind that the police are often silly with their quotum…I mean, sting operations. But that deserves a separate posting altogether.
‘Clip-on lights are allowed too. Don’t forget to turn them on. And ohhh, make sure you turn them off, as well…hmm?’)
Voice-over: “This is Marcel. Marcel has a problem. He doesn’t get noticed. And that’s a bother for Marcel…and for others. So, what do you do?”
Marcel: “These, please!”
Voice-over: “You get two bicycle lights!”
Kids: “Hey Marcel, where have you been?”
Oh, the BMX-boys from the ad are part of a stunt team that is on tour around the Netherlands and of course there’s an extra incentive: you get a 15% discount on all lights at two major chain stores.