Ad Nauseam: What Are You Implying, Chase?

Chase_small.jpgPhoto by Matthew Roth

Welcome to town Chase.  I’m super impressed you have been reading Streetsblog San Francisco and made an ad that reflects some of the knowledge you’ve acquired here. This is obviously a shout out to the car-free community. Might the admen understand the incredible cost savings of ditching the car for a bike, which can save you more than $9,000 every year in direct vehicle costs, not to mention the health savings from an active lifestyle and the peace of mind of contributing fewer greenhouse gases to a dangerously warming planet?

Or maybe this is an homage to the cyclist as hero, walking into the sunset after defeating the highway lobby in Washington and securing billions for transit in the re-authorization of the transportation act.

I’m not sure a big bank like that has the time in between taking billions of taxpayer bailouts and spending them on new airplanes to focus on the subtleties of the message they’re sending to the more than one-hundred thousand San Franciscans who ride weekly.

What do you think, Streetsblog Nation?

  • Oh, and there I was thinking it was just sexual innuendo…

  • My impression is that you need a bank to give you a car loan, dude who now has to ride his bike everywhere.

    But I do like your optimism.

    But if I can make a comment about bikes in ads, that Bud light ad where the guy ends it by saying, “and that’s why I don’t ride bikes!”. I just about threw my non-bud beer at the tv. Give me a break.

  • JP Morgan Chase has been building on its 19th-century legacy of profiting from slavery by now administering unemployment benefits for several states in such a way that recipients wind up paying fees to the bank, which presumably is laughing all the way to itself. These people are nothing but thieving greedbag opportunists. They should be chased out of town.

  • marcSFBC

    Just reminded me of the ad I spotted in Suburban Tampa, FL promoting Biking to Work from Regions Bank…:

  • Maybe they mean that you need a bank where you can deposit all the money you save by riding a bike.

    I have calculated that, if I had owned a car all of my adult life instead of being carfree and bicycling, I would have no savings and would not have been able to buy a house.

  • So who’s this good bank they’re talking about? Chase is only offering a whopping 0.01% APY on their saving accounts, so maybe they’re talking about Charles Schwab which is offering a 2.0% APY.

  • Pat

    I don’t know about the people at Chase Bank, but when I go to work I usually ride my bike rather than carry it. Also, does the white landscape, the silhoutte of the man and the simple symbol that looks to be exploding seem reminiscent of nuclear apocalypse imagery? Maybe by “good bank” they mean a bank that is constructed with 6 foot lead walls and a store room of Mad Max style weapons.

    But really the first thing I thought of was that they were suggesting the cyclist needs to save money for a car

  • I see no way Chase can make a positive spin: “we like bicyclists, who are smart for being bicyclists, and we are a smart bank for you”. If they had a picture of a typical SF track-stand courier type bicyclist, then it surely would have insinuated “you’re pathetic looking… get a car loan”. There’s no way anyone would identify with the Tampa Bay image. I guess they had to settle for a generic, stock photo of an athletic bicyclist that rides purely for recreation and exercise.

  • It’s not at all clear what this billboard means or why it is there. The obtuse message provides no clear connection to the image (hence this discussion), no call to action and no way to ascribe any value to the brand (and therefore little benefit to Chase). Since it requires the viewer to fill in the story I choose to believe that this man was out walking in his hiking boots and stole a bike that he is now forced to carry because it is still locked. But then, in an act of divine retribution his accumulated clot of bad karma erupts from his belly in a flash of agony that destroys most of his internal organs. He now has an urgent need for a really good organ bank.

    I have to believe this was an in-house design because I know of many “admen” who cycle to work but know zero bankers who do. I suggest Chase sell a corporate jet and buy each of the executives in the company a bike, compel them to ride it to work and reward them for the insight to reality this provides. Once they get the hang of it I hope to see them at Critical Mass.

  • -a really good bank- is there such thing?

    and why isnt the he-figure riding the bike?
    Im thinking very postivie here, but maybe his bike is ruined and the loan is to get himself a new bike, or repair it, etc/

    this reminds of the defunct wamu, as seen about a year ago here in SF: wamu billboard

  • mcas

    Todd: Well, there are V-brakes on the bike, so maybe the Mountain Boots *do* make sense. And maybe they are implying that he has a car to get to single-track on his weekends off (not some low-wage off-hour employee), and therefore really DOES need a good bank, since he’s got time and money to burn riding down mountains. Way to get into the deets…

    Meli: Good Banks = Credit Unions. ..and nice sign. Missed that one!

  • JoPa


  • There is another billboard with the same text and color but a graphic of runners at Mission and Otis – makes even less sense with runners but at least seems they mean to compliment fit people?



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