Brazilian bike company uses truck driver strike to show cost savings of bicycle transportation

Anyone who has lived through a gasoline crisis knows how taxing it can be on pocketbooks and nerves. In Brazil, a spike in the price of diesel fuel caused a national truck strike in protest, which bled over into consumer territory due to distribution issues, causing painful lines and rising costs.

Brazilian cycling company Caloi offered the bicycle as a unique, low-carbon mobility solution, and it put the cost savings of bike transportation out for all to see — right in front of gas stations.

‘Liters,’ an ad campaign created by Tribal Worldwide’s São Paulo office, found a way to show how cycling is a viable, sustainable and economical option for transportation, and with the timing and placement to impact a potential target. Focused on out-of-home (OOH) media, the communication transformed the prices of some of its best-selling bikes to gallons of gasoline, questioning the use of cars in the crowded city, as well as rationally demonstrating the cost-to-benefit ratio in urban mobility.

The index used to convert the bike prices in liters of gas was based in real-time data connected with Google Waze information. Every time the fuel value varied, the digital outdoor signs were updated accordingly. To increase the impact, the OOH media placements were selected strategically near gas stations, especially those with the largest queues.

By comparing the Reais (Brazilian currency) that could be spent on a new bike instead of pouring liters of gasoline into a car, more people became aware that cycling is not only good for health and for the planet, but also for their wallets.

"There are several benefits that using a bike provides: it collaborates with the environment because it does not pollute, it is a physical activity that consequently helps physical and mental health, and in times of crisis, it can still be a differential factor in the budget. That’s why bicycles are so popular in many European and Asian countries, but not so much in Brazil yet. This campaign seeks to draw attention to (the fact) that pedaling is one of the best mobility solutions in the country, even more integrated to other options such as subway and trains, for example,” said Eduardo Rocha, Caloi's marketing director.

A video chronicles the company’s efforts.

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