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Adapting Car-Share Ads to Market Bike-Share

Replace "car sharing" with "bike sharing"

On a recent trip on my "other bike," AKA the 'L,' I spotted two advertisements promoting Zipcar that could have easily been converted into advertisements for bike-share. Car-share and bike-share serve different purposes, but there's also some overlap -- car-share providers want to capture some trips that you could also make on a public bike. With Chicago's Divvy bike-share system set to launch soon, let's see whether we can adapt these Zipcar ads to the bike-share context.

The first ad, above, says, "No booty call shall go unanswered." Too saucy for a public bike system? Maybe, but there's no doubt Divvy bikes can help you with that (and it's cheaper than renting a car). Bike-share would also give you a bit more flexibility than Zipcar's hourly rates, since the trip on Divvy would be free in each direction as long as you can pedal there in 30 minutes or less.

Replace "car sharing" with "bike sharing"

The smaller text in the same advertisement says, "Hundreds of cars and vans across Chicago are available by the hour or day. Gas and insurance included." This part would have to change to advertise bike-share. The Divvy version could say, "Thousands of bicycles across Chicago are available for unlimited 30 minute trips around town, and you don't have to pay for gas or insurance."

The second ad, which I saw behind the seats, says, "It's like owning a car without all the sucky parts." Ah yes, sometimes owning the vehicle, even if that vehicle is a low-cost bicycle, has sucky parts. For Divvy, I'd propose, "It's like owning a bike without all the sucky parts, like flat tires, rusty chains, and stolen seats."

Divvy will launch in June with 75 stations in downtown Chicago and River North. A day pass will cost $7, less than one hour of driving a Zipcar (and that doesn't include the cost of parking). An annual Divvy membership will be $75.

Finally, it's good to see that these Zipcar ads, unlike some of the company's prior campaigns (below), don't disparage people who ride bikes or take transit.


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