Thursday, April 03, 2008

State Farm's Anti-Bike Commercial

Not to outdo Geico, which made walking your child to school uncool. State Farm suggests that riding a bike to work strips away your dignity. And I agree with Sheila those red bike shorts are fine.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you posted this commercial! I saw it the other night and was shocked at State Farm's stupidity.

Gary Burkholder said...

I was just quoted a new policy with Progressive and was thinking about shopping around a little. In speaking with the mgr of my credit union, she said she uses State Farm and to check them out. After seeing this commercial, no thanks... I might look into Liberty Mutual, since they have a group savings plan for USCF members.

Anonymous said...

See you next Tuesday, Sheila!

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry this commercial offended anyone. State Farm has been a supporter of bicycle safety through the thousands of bicycle rodeos we’ve held for children throughout the US and Canada, and we are open to discussion about how State Farm may be able to work with the bicycling community in the future.
This advertisement is part of an overall campaign where we attempt to capture consumers talking about points in their lives. Our intention is to recognize and empathize with these everyday challenges, and provide ways State Farm can help. 
State Farm is also very concerned about doing what we can to improve health, safety and the environment in our communities. If you'd like more information on what we’re doing, go to (

Tim Van Hoof 
Director of Marketing Communications 
State Farm

Anonymous said...

So Tim is this commercial being pulled?

Many don't see riding bikes as a "challenge," but rather a choice. Utilizing alternative means of transport is smart and should be appreciated - not sympathized or empathized.

Improving safety in communities doesn't happen by treating cyclists as second class citizens.

Thanks for the response - and please let us know the ad status. I appreciate the response - but I would like to see more action.

Also State Farm insures my condo (and by default my bike when inside.) I'll be watching this issue when it comes time to renew in a few months.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Tim, but I don't buy your take on the advertisement. This, like most advertisements for corporations, is designed to earn money for the corporation and its shareholders. Any benefit to the public is there, in the long run, to make money. Not that it's a problem to make money, but it's so easy to forget that that's the

If State Farm is so interested in improving health, the environment, safety, etc. in its communities, maybe they should put aside monetary concerns -- or maybe put them a little further down on the priority list -- and start writing insurance policies to do just that. How about drastically higher insurance rates for vehicles with high gasoline consumption? How about insurance policies that "incentivize" homes with smaller carbon footprints? I'm getting off track here, but I hope I've made my point.

Anonymous said...

According to this (which I found via the ad is dead.

Thank you Tim. I for one appreciate you taking initiative! (Said as a state farm holder for my homoeowners insurance)

Anonymous said...

Wow. You guys sure are sensitive. I can't believe you get so worked up over a commercial. You must not have anything else to worry about. It's this kind of over sensitivity that makes you look silly, not a stupid TV commercial.

John Boyle said...

It's not so much as being offended by a commercial as it is the re-enforcement of negative public attitudes towards bicyclists. An attitude that perceives bicycles as toys and bicyclists as oddballs.

Do you see any positive cycling messages on TV? I don't. But I do see a half dozen automobile commercials every hour implying that cars are sexy or the only dignified way to get from point a to point b.

Spiraling gas prices, congestion, construction costs, global warming and public health all should make policies that promote bicycling a breeze. But that's not happening. I wonder why?

So yeah, some of us are a little sensitive.

Gary Burkholder said...

Here's a similar ad I just saw for Farmer's insurance:

Anonymous said...

Toyota is also doing an anti-bicyclist commercial.