All’s fair in love and promotions, but something about this guerrilla marketing tactic for DKNY outside of the Bryant Park Fashion tents just rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, I love the day-glo orange bike, I know a few people who would kill to have this as a ride of their own, but at the same time this commercial twist on the grass roots memorial project known as “ghost bikes” just rubs me the wrong way.
Ghost bikes are junker bikes spray painted white and chained to signs at intersections where a bicyclist has been killed. They are meant to serve as a memorial as well as generate awareness to cyclists and motorists that mutual respect and sharing the road is crucial.
I have not been able to figure out what sort of link DKNY wants you to make between this orange bike, emblazoned only with the letters “DKNY.com“, and their fashion line. The only link I can see is they were too cheap to pay for ads so they are invading my personal space by creating new venues to market to me. Ie: bike parked on the street is now a promotion.
There is something arresting and moving about a ghost bike. Most of the time they are quiet markers without a lot of fan fare. I wonder is it the fact that I find using a memorial vehicle to promote a brand in poor taste or is that I feel like guerrilla marketing should be reserved for the small guys who really need it. I think it’s a little of both. Guerrilla marketing and slick, established brands like DKNY just seems incongruous and fake.
If MSLK decided to do orange bikes outside of 7th on 6th I would use them to make a statement about how biking to work is cool, or joke that bikes are the best way to arrive at the red carpet. I mean really can’t we have a promotion and content too? What ever happened to style and substance?