Too true (regular readers and Facebook followers will know there are a fair few bike nuts and at least one cycling author in the Speak studio). Bikeminded, however, is a long-term initiative set up by the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to promote the use of bikes as an alternative to cars and public transport.
All sounds very laudable.
Indeed. The brand, or campaign, is a great example of content being used for advocacy. Unlike many of the content brands featured previously, these guys have nothing to peddle other than … er … pedalling. A breath of fresh air, you might say (which is probably not what you’d get when riding down a congested west London street, but don’t let that put you off).
And how are they driving this local transport velorution?
The hub of the campaign is its well-designed website, where visitors can find advice on looking after a bike, guides to which type of cycle to buy, and tips on navigating the capital’s mean streets. There’s also a blog to keep readers up to date on the latest two-wheeled west London happenings, accompanied by savvy use of social media to drive engagement with the campaign.
A veritable cyclo-pedia of information.
Indeed, and it doesn’t stop there. The people at Bikeminded have launched a number of interactive activities since 2011, online and offline, to help raise awareness of the campaign. Their ‘style the cyclist’ competition challenged people to think beyond the stereotype of what cyclists ‘should’ look like, by creating a Pinterest board of products from Harrod’s (the local high-end emporium) that would look great on any style-savvy, bike-riding citizen. There’s also all sorts of events going on in the borough with many of them free to attend; bike mechanic workshops, cycle tours of historic sites, and even bike polo.
What ho! Anything that combines Harrod’s and bike polo sounds like a spot of fun to me. How very fitting for one of the swankier parts of the Capital.
Fair point, but what we like about the campaign’s general tone is the way it conveys the message (get out and cycle) in an enthusiastic and sincere way, without seeming contrived or stuffy. If you didn’t spot the Kensington & Chelsea badge in the top right of the page header you might not realise the website was a government initiative. It reads like any other London bike blog.
Of which there are many! How does that tone carry through the whole content mix?
It’s maintained consistently through not just the written content, but also the videos and promotional imagery the campaign has produced. We love the playful, graphical style of the ‘Reasons to Cycle’ assets used throughout the site.
And the campaign is working?
Seemingly so. There are now 8,000 cyclists in Kensington and Chelsea (according to the campaign website) and with this weekend’s Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Bikeathon event due to set out from Chelsea before taking in 100 miles of London and the surrounding area, it seems cycling in the metropolis is really taking off – let’s hope other councils around London and the UK take note.