This post was guest-written by Andrew Capeau, President and Owner of the Victoria Pedicab Company. He recently piloted the StyroCycle, a one-of-a-kind London Drugs media vehicle designed by Unicycle Creative. Here is his story:
I have begun working for a new client, London Drugs, in what can be called a new era of experential advertising. Lorne, operator of unicycle creative and I, Andrew Capeau, president, tour guide, mechanic, web designer, accountant, general jack of all trades of a small yet proud company Victoria Pedicab Company, began the construction of an enormous styrofoam pile this past weekend. The formula was simple: add 1 part pedicab and two parts stryofoam. Place styrofoamin the carriage normally reserved for sightseeing hungry visitors and you have one of the most curious looking vehicles rolling on this planet. Lorne was inspired by a photo of a pedicab operator in China transporting an towering pile of styrofoam to be reused. Thank God he wasn’t hauling super heavy lead batteries or who know where this would have led to.
Friday April 8 is launch day. Lorne is touching up the 7 Ft high by 5 1/2 feet height creation. Our prototype has already passed the wind laden test drive along Victoria’s breezy shores. A couple bolts are tightened and some squeaky styro sheets are muffled and we are good to go. The sun is shining and it is mild–somebody must have bought the weatherman a calendar–it’s not rainy, cold or super windy. The videographer’s camera is rolling and so are we…
I must say that as a pedicab operator I am used to curious stares but what I saw this weekend was beyond my expectations. Pedestrians, car, bus and truck drivers are gawking with jaws wide open. I am seeing double takes, triple takes and even full on stops with fingers pointing. People are not only noticing, they are loving it. Skateboarders to baby stroller pushers are giving me the thumbs up. I’m posing for pictures, high fives are exchanged…it’s a love in baby. I’m starting to get the vibe and the pleasure power of this thing on three wheels. I begin to search out big reaction site. My first big hit is the Moxies restaurant. The restaurant is lined with window view tables. It’s not a matter of if I get noticed but how many diners I can stop in mid chew! I know I got them when the forks are pointed in my direction. I’d say a got at least 4/5’s of them on this pass.
Time to get to know London Drug customers. I park the Styrocycle in the front next to the bike rack. Interaction with customers is easy. These downtown shoppers at LD on Yates are recycling gurus. Not just blue boxers, these folks are composters and recyclers of all things. LD has me promoting their environmental program “Take back the pack” and I am armed with small folded cards (I encourage folks to stick it on the fridge) to passers by. Styrofoam is one recycling conundrum. Nobody knows what to do with it. The news that packaging purchased from LD can be returned is received very positively. There is some disappointment expressed the LD isn’t taking all styrofoam. I wonder if a garbage back load maximum could be instituted? I can only say that styrofoam takes up a lot of space by nature and at this time LD does not have the area in each store to accommodate this. The other news, returning old appliances and electronics is very well received. A bit of a revelation and relief to some is the ability to recycle the compact fluorescent bulbs which are know to contain mercury. A few are encouraged to bring in their dead batteries (AA, AAA, C and D’s, hearing aid, watch batteries and the like). One elderly woman stated that she goes through two batteries a week for her hearing aid. She plans to bring them in to the customer service desk in the future. It is stories like these that make me easily motivated to work hard on this campaign.
Interested in a media vehicle of your own? Check out the Victoria Pedicab Company here.
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