The ad essentially uses the same techniques ubiquitously applied to sell cars, and applies them to the bus.
Given that car ads seem to be about one out of every three or four shown on television, and essentially no advertising is done for public transport, it is not surprising that we have more of a “culture of the car” in New Zealand.
However, as I often argue, there are a lot of people who will simply take the transport that is most convenient for a given price. Many more people would take public transport if there was more convenient, reliable buses and trains, and private cars weren’t subsidised by urban planning policies and government funding.
In fact, New Zealanders are driving less and owning fewer cars, despite car-centric policy. And more and more Aucklanders are taking public transport or walking and cycling, because it is more convenient than being stuck in a traffic jam, and owning an operating a car is expensive. The reality of car commuting around the city is a lot less sexy than the car ads make it out to be.
The video above is good because the effect is humorous. Certainly, advertisements like this alone won’t work if there isn’t a big improvement in transport policy and funding in New Zealand. But there is a reason why car manufacturers spend enormous sums of money on advertising. Perhaps more ads like this will help change attitudes about transport.
What do you think?