Mar 30, 2013

The New Canadian Tire Bike Commercial Bugs Me

WARNING - mini rant ahead...

Canadian Tire has a very long history in Canada as being THE place that many kids get their first bike from.  You know that bike, the one poorly assembled by the neighbour who was "into bikes", heavy as a boat anchor, and covered in decorative plastic crap? 

Indeed, that bike was probably a BSO (bicycle shaped object) but it was your BSO and you loved it no matter what because it offered you that feeling we all fall in love with when riding a bicycle, even a crappy bicycle - freedom!

Remember this ad from a few years back?  A tear jerker for sure but real in that many of us remember being that kid desperately wanting that sweet red bike in the Canadian Tire (or Eatons, Sears, etc) catalogue more than anything else in your life.

But then along comes this - 

Right form the beginning it comes off as some sort of unreal suburban fantasy bike land, with the children happily commandeering the roadway and flaunting the law as if they're hosting their own critical mass to the local park.  You'd think this is some neighbourhood in Vancouver or Portland where everyone pedals and no one drives anywhere. They're even making the old lady down the street nervous, bloody cyclists.

But there are problems with this world they are trying to illustrate - 

Problem 1 - Lots of parents these days won't let their kids ride bikes to the park on their own because they're terrified that they'll be run down by some errant, distracted, speeding driver.  It's hard to argue with that perspective when so many neighbourhoods are outright hostile to children playing in the streets and community design that favours the movement of cars first and the safety and movement of people last.  The community shown doesn't even have sidewalks!

Problem 2 - Where are all the cars?

Problem 3 - The Canadian Tire Guy du Jour.  I hate this guy!  I cannot tell if his expression is meant to convey a sense of shame, coolness, or incredulity - maybe all three?  It he ashamed to be riding that toy?  Is he just too cool for school with his motorcycle helmet on?  Or is he just skeptical that any of this could happen in real life?

I know, I am definitely over analyzing it but there are so many things that tweaked me I wanted to post it and get your opinion.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

What I think is that you totally missed out on the point of the ad.

It's clearly a joke, a parody of the traditional "bad boys are in town" type set-up. A set up that goes back to westerns or old biker movies. The joke, of course, is that they've replaced the tough guys with a bunch of adorable children on bikes with training wheels. Obviously, it's not reality, it's just a bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

Nah, I think you are right on....makes me fear the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Just go to say, I like the new commercial for canadian tire. It's supposed to be a joke so they can be modern and cool. Love your analysis though haha

Anonymous said...

I think maybe u need to realize that people including the ad exects in large corperations,,,,have a sense of humour. It is rediculous to over analyze this. Its not a poke at anyone.

Anonymous said...

I found the ad disturbing and wanted to let Canadian Tire know it. I don't need to be told to lock my doors, that i am not safe in my house, by some rappers.