Van Moof it Along


Van Moof it Along

There’s been a lot of fear and suffering in 2020. And France is finally getting to the core of who’s responsible for it: the ebike industry. An bike advert was recently been banned in the country for “inciting fear and suffering.” Note: it’s unclear whether the advert caused the national of France more or less distress than Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s evolving facial hair. 


The advert, which is for the Dutch company Van Moof, shows images of factory chimneys and traffic jams reflected in the sheen of a black sports car. Then the car effectively morphs into a sleek black ebike. All in all it’s kind of like Transformers, but without the stellar acting talents of Shia Labeouf. 


Van Moof was really proud that they’d pushed the boundaries of creativity and “question[ed] the status quo.” But like, they made a thirty second commercial. They didn’t write Lady Chatterly’s Lover. 


The ad was ultimately banned by the Authority for the Professional Regulation of Advertising aka the ARPP. (Which shouldn’t be confused with the AARP, an organization in America that sends spam mail to elderly people while promoting itself during commercial breaks on Wheel of Fortune). 


They said the ad created “a climate of anxiety.” But by that logic, they also need to ban the finale of Masterchef, the SAT and the entirety of 2020. 


They also said the commercial went “too far” by showing images of smoke and factories. If these guys are scared and suffer while watching smoke blow out of a factory, then they’re really in for it when they finally start binge watching Game of Thrones. 


Last year, Peloton released a way more problematic ad for their stationary bike. In that ad, a husband forces his wife to lose weight as his Christmas present to her. She gets really stressed and then wakes up at 5am to do an at-home spin class in $140 leggings while vlogging the whole thing. So scary. But that ad was never banned. Maybe this ebike commercial would’ve done better if they it featured Taco Carlier, the founder of Van Moof, giving his wife a bike so she could lose that baby weight. 


Ultimately, the Van Moof ad went viral and Taco’s the one who really ended up winning. (As if he wasn’t winning already just from being named Taco). 

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