GM: Bikes Will Make You Unattractive to Ladies

by Jess Zimmerman in a Grist cross-post

Enough people thought this was a good idea that the ad made it into print. How did this ad meeting go? “We need to convince the youth to buy giant boat-cars.” “Okay, tell them bikes will cockblock them.” “Perfect, let’s call it a day.” Nice work, Don Draper.

GM has clearly been getting a lot of blowback for this ad, which presents biking as an embarrassment so profound you’ll want to hide your face from the sight of pretty girls. They’ve been falling over themselves to apologize on their Twitter feed. It’s tough for them! Reality sucks, guys.

UPDATE:  David in the comments directs us to the great response ad by Giant Bicycles:



16 Responses to GM: Bikes Will Make You Unattractive to Ladies

  1. David says:

    You left out the best part – Giant Bicycle’s awesome response!

  2. rjs says:

    “biking as an embarrassment so profound you’ll want to hide your face from the sight of pretty girls”…riding a bus the same…

    that’s a generational difference; it’s seen as true to anyone who grew up in the 50s & 60s…

    imagine it was just an elderly ad exec..

  3. Jan says:

    Totally messed up the html, sorry. 2nd try:

    I always cringe at this advertising tactic of “Buy our [insert superfluous luxury item] and [insert totally unrelated aspect of your life] will suddenly be all great. This implies, of course, that not owning our product, you suck.”

  4. prokaryotes says:

    First i thought this was an ad campaign from the 60’s.

  5. fj says:

    GM’s nightmare vision of the here-and-now and future continues unabated and out-of-touch more and more.

    Retired GM senior designer Lawrence Burns presented his views at a recent Columbia U Earth Institute practicum to what seemed to be an uncritical student audience; the typical sterile machine-world systems largely devoid of natural and human capital practicality, aethetics and considerations. Ugh!

  6. dana1981 says:

    Ironically, GM makes bicycles too. I actually own a GM road bike, which (also ironically), they named after an SUV (the Denali).

  7. fj says:

    Since about 80% of public space in places like NYC is allocated to roads completely dominated by cars, trucks, and buses, it is a virtual monopoly since they are life-threatening.

    The first major step developing zero carbon transportation is to make streets completely safe from cars where “20s plenty” (miles per hour) is a good way to start with this trivial design fix; even though 20 mph is also too fast in most dense urban settings. The average speed in the business part of Manhattan is something like 9 miles per hour.

    Higher speeds and performance require different types of roads more suited to virtually eliminating collisions providing advanced levels of automation, powering, practicality and convenience; many factors less costly — with less emissions — than those required by multi-ton vehicles.

    Vehicles readily capable of easily being human powered further enhances practicality and most important resilience.

  8. Tyce says:

    This ad is clearly empirically false. 90% of my ‘game’ in college can be attributed to my rad bicycle (’77 Univega Gran Primio). I let my bicycle do my talking for me.

  9. Chris says:

    Bought a bike, cost about $700 with all the extras I needed (pump, helmet, lock, light, trailer cart) I know I’d probably wind up paying that much in car insurance in the course of a year. So much much cheaper than buying a car. Never owned a car. I used to take the bus in the city, but now I’m more in the country, very easy to get around, lost about 20 lbs in about 2 months, and as one of my female friends said, you ride a bike enough it does wonderful things to your glutes.

  10. Tony says:

    I still think that nothing screams “I have penis issues” quite like the Cadillac Escalade.

  11. Pangolin` says:

    I’ve spent about $1200 on my Xtracycle/Townie hybrid longtail bike with customization (so far). Honestly the bike is practically my social life.

    People introduce themselves to ask about my bike. I load stuff (lawn chairs, full sized Weber bar-b-que, camping gear, trebuchet, groceries, whatever) on my bike and adventures happen. I toss a jumbo hammock into the sling bags and bike up a dirt track to spend an afternoon snoozing next to the creek. I bike to parties and music events where I meet other Xtracycle riders. We all load ridiculous amounts of music gear on our bikes and have bike music festivals. I bike camping gear, food and supplies back and forth to Occupy Chico.

    I am now embarrassed to be caught out driving my car. Driving; ick. I have to get out of the thing to talk to anybody or even yell hi. It has an extreme lack of bells. Try blowing bubbles while driving. I’m cold all winter if I drive; when I bike I arrive HOT wherever I go.

    No contest at all. Bike wins.

  12. Tim says:

    Go to the beach in a city where the people don’t walk or bicycle – like Houston. The people are overweight. The contrast with people in New York is dramatic. (If I recall, Houston has the highest rate of obesity in the US, a country with the biggest obesity problem in the world.) See how that doughy look works in attracting the ladies.

  13. kermit says:

    I’m assume that none of the ladies are this shallow… but I’m imagining those women looking at the guy on the bike and then the driver of their car. On the average, how would they compare?

    I’m sure the other fellas here agree that we never take (sidelong, but discrete) glances at ladies on bikes when we drive by, yes?

    More seriously, I’m married, but if I weren’t I still doubt that I’d find a woman interesting (and therefore attractive) who would reject a guy for riding a bike.