General Motors’ Anti-Bicycling Advertising Campaign

The League of American Bicyclists highlights a fascinatingly awful, recent (now aborted) ad campaign from General Motors, commanding college students, “Reality sucks. Stop pedaling…start driving”. Yes — tune out the world, stop exercising, go into debt buying a $20,000 pickup truck:

If you are a student looking to add tens of thousands of dollars of long term debt, care little about the environment, and want pay through the nose for insurance, gas, and parking…GM has got a perfect deal for you. Bonus: it’ll make you fat and unhealthy! All you have to do is give up that dorky bicycle that’s easy to use, practically free, gets you some exercise and is actually fun to ride.

In case you were wondering, GM has a fine-sounding corporate responsibility statement: “As a responsible corporate citizen, General Motors is dedicated to protecting human health, natural resources and the global environment.”

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30 Responses to General Motors’ Anti-Bicycling Advertising Campaign

  1. Anti-Citizen1 October 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Yeah cycling will totally make you look like a dorky nerd to all the hawt girls. An incredibly sculpted lean and well defined nerd with a great ass.

  2. Anarchy Pony October 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Yeah cycling will totally make you look like a dorky nerd to all the hawt girls. An incredibly sculpted lean and well defined nerd with a great ass.

  3. Butter Knife October 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Cars have some rather obvious advantages over bicycles. Like not needing to pedal, and being feasibly capable of conveying a great deal more mass.

    I’m baffled that GM feels like people might not realize this, and that anyone who chooses to ride a bicycle instead has not considered an automobile.

    I’m also baffled that they think $20,000 is a small enough number that it will change the minds of those individuals who do not own a car due entirely to not having enough money for one.

    Adding to my confusion, of course, is the claim that cars make you fat. That is plainly false, at least for anyone who does not eat their car. I tend to assume that everybody is wrong: in this instance I feel rather vindicated.

  4. Butter Knife October 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Cars have some rather obvious advantages over bicycles. Like not needing to pedal, and being feasibly capable of conveying a great deal more mass.

    I’m baffled that GM feels like people might not realize this, and that anyone who chooses to ride a bicycle instead has not considered an automobile.

    I’m also baffled that they think $20,000 is a small enough number that it will change the minds of those individuals who do not own a car due entirely to not having enough money for one.

    Adding to my confusion, of course, is the claim that cars make you fat. That is plainly false, at least for anyone who does not eat their car. I tend to assume that everybody is wrong: in this instance I feel rather vindicated.

    • dumbsaint October 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      It’s not so much that having a car would make you fat – it’s replacing the exercise you’d otherwise be getting from cycling that may do it. I otherwise agree with your bafflement.

      • Butter Knife October 22, 2011 at 12:53 am #

        By that logic, so does reading a newspaper. Or sleeping. or basically anything else that an ordinary person might subject themselves to simply because most of us don’t spend our entire day engaging in activities most would consider meaningful exercise.

        Overeating and not exercising makes you fat… blaming cars rather a cop out.

        • dumbsaint October 22, 2011 at 7:42 am #

          Well it’s not a rule to be applied across the board. In the hypothetical instance proposed in the article they are replacing something that gives you exercise with something that doesn’t. that’s all. 

  5. Anonymous October 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    GM tries to convince people to buy their product?!

    IMPROBABLE

  6. Redacted October 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    GM tries to convince people to buy their product?!

    IMPROBABLE

  7. Anonymous October 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    It’s not so much that having a car would make you fat – it’s replacing the exercise you’d otherwise be getting from cycling that would do it. 

  8. Whitjj1974 October 22, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    There is one of these posters displayed prominently near the entrance to one of the big lecture halls at the University of Cincinnati…the one where they teach Intro to Microeconomics.  I’ve walked past it a bunch of times and never really noticed it until today when I really looked at it and got pissed off.  I think I’ll tape this article over it.

  9. Whitjj1974 October 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    There is one of these posters displayed prominently near the entrance to one of the big lecture halls at the University of Cincinnati…the one where they teach Intro to Microeconomics.  I’ve walked past it a bunch of times and never really noticed it until today when I really looked at it and got pissed off.  I think I’ll tape this article over it.

  10. V. October 22, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    GM should have made cheap bikes and had them shipped to china. economy would have been booming as the love to pedal around the country side.

  11. V. October 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    GM should have made cheap bikes and had them shipped to china. economy would have been booming as the love to pedal around the country side.

    • Jin The Ninja October 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Hmm, looking at my 82 yr old Nai Nai and my 88 Year old Ye Ye, i somehow have a hard time picturing them peddling around Fujian looking at  tea plantations…

  12. Anti-Citizen1 October 22, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    I think you mean:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3sLhnDJJn0

  13. Butter Knife October 22, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    By that logic, so does reading a newspaper. Or sleeping. or basically anything else that an ordinary person might subject themselves to simply because most of us don’t spend our entire day engaging in activities most would consider meaningful exercise.

    Overeating and not exercising makes you fat… blaming cars rather a cop out.

  14. Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  15. Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Well it’s not a rule to be applied across the board. In the hypothetical instance proposed in the article they are replacing something that gives you exercise with something that doesn’t. that’s all. 

  16. Gungajin October 22, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    sounds liek someone has hacked GM and planted this awesome campaign for bicycling

  17. Gungajin October 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    sounds liek someone has hacked GM and planted this awesome campaign for bicycling

  18. Foxexpress October 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    This is so sad, but very worthy of a car company.

  19. Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    This is so sad, but very worthy of a car company.

  20. SteveSeverin October 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    This same company that American tax payers had to bail out? Should have let it die.
    I definitely won’t be purchasing a GM.

  21. SteveSeverin October 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    This same company that American tax payers had to bail out? Should have let it die.
    I definitely won’t be purchasing a GM.

  22. Wretchedbeast October 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Reality really does suck when you have to deal with both car payments and student loans.

  23. Wretchedbeast October 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Reality really does suck when you have to deal with both car payments and student loans.

  24. Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Hmm, looking at my 82 yr old Nai Nai and my 88 Year old Ye Ye, i somehow have a hard time picturing them peddling around Fujian looking at  tea plantations…

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