It's not one of the big holidays, but Brazil's leading bicycle brand Caloi is making the most of World Carfree Day by sponsoring a fake cause to get people in car-crazed Brazil to think differently about getting around gridlocked cities.
In the video, members of a support group for addicts share their shameful stories of what sounds like substance abuse in a dimly-lit room. "I was only 14," begins one. The confessions continue. "At first, it was just on weekends" and, shockingly, "It was my own dad who offered it to me."
Then we get an inkling of what these people can't get enough of: "I realized when I started driving to the gym. And it's only a block away."
The Car Addicts Support Group is full of people who unthinkingly drive everywhere. The cure for them is to re-think using a car on every occasion, with the help of a Car Addicts website and Facebook page, and Mobilility Week's lengthy agenda of activities through Sept. 25. They include walks, city bike tours, biker breakfasts and coffee breaks, and a telenovela-like theatrical performance about star-crossed lovers (Heedless driver Manoel almost runs over Cristina as she innocently pedals along in the bike lane).
The campaign is by Sao Paulo digital agency Salve, part of Grupo ABC, an Omnicom-owned Brazilian advertising group.
"Caloi wants to take advantage of World Carfree Day to humorously show how bicycles can be an option to get around big cities," said Ana Paula Nogueira, Caloi's senior marketing manager for Latin America. "We want people to think about whether using the car is always necessary or whether it's time, with the growth of bike lanes and paths in big cities, to add the bicycle for some trips."