Monday, April 07, 2008

Does State Farm Hate Cyclists?

Last night I watched a commercial by State Farm Insurance that I really took offense to from the beginning. I almost blogged about right away, but I know how my emotional side can take over for my rational side so I calmed down (somewhat) and let it go.

Then, while cruising the cycling blogs today I see that others were up in arms about it as well. It even set my friend Barry off...well...okay...Barry likes to go on an occasional rant anyway, but that's part of his charm. So I had to go through all the emotional checks again. Should I be upset? Should I not be upset? Do cyclists like to get worked up over nothing?

My rational side set in: It's a insurance company trying to sell car insurance. However, my rational side also said it was in poor taste. Put the guy in a nice suit coat and tie and put on some dorky shorts to over-emphasize your point. My rational-advocacy side then set in and spoke even louder: How DARE you make fun of bicycle commuters to try to sell insurance. We are already treated as second class citizens by many motorists and making us out as geeks in a suit and shorts sure doesn't help. Tell me the last time you ever seen anybody dressed like the guy in this commercial?

Kudos for the bike community for sending emails to State Farm telling them their commercial was in poor taste. Kudos to YouTube viewers for giving it (at press time) a ONE star rating. Kudos to State Farm (damage control) for actually responding on the Streetsblog article (comment #27).

Does State Farm hate cyclists? I don't think so. Actually from what I read they do a great deal for the cycling community with various events and sponsorships and cases of above-average coverage for bicyclists who have been in accidents. I think that the commercial was not thought out well before being put on TV. If they did, and thought it was a great commercial, the cycling community gave them their side of the issue quickly. I'm sure they meant no harm, but harm has been done. Damage control takes over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you... There's another insurance commercial where a guy is riding his child's bike on the freeway without a helmet. I get kind of annoyed with that one for sure and even the television part of me says, "A helmet wouldn't even wreck the shot... especially if they fitted him with a kid's helmet... THAT'd be funny." BUt good for him keeping up with traffic on the freeway. :D