Client: Pleasecycle
Output: Overt and covert communications
Acc. handler: Oliver Payne
Research: Sruthi Chandrasekaran, Associate Social Policy, Economics
Creative director: Jamie Romain
Creative team: The Hunting Dynasty


” . . . can you design a communications package for clients of PleaseCycle – a tracking app and portal that performs like Air Miles for bike – to get more staff cycling more mile more frequently?”


PleaseCycle is a website and app that’s sold to businesses and organisations (such as Rickeit Beckinser, and Camden Council) to encourage their staff to cycle to work. It has practical information such as about biking, plan safe routes, log daily trips, and compete against colleagues. PleaseCycle wanted some communication that the HR department could download and use without significant changes in order to spur use and get more of their staff cycling more miles, more frequently.


The first and only question we asked was what are the barriers to commuter cycling – however so executed. Pouring through tens of thousands of words of peer-reviewed research we found that there seemed to be a large difference between what people think the barriers to cycling are, and what they actually are.

Broadly, the perception of cycling was an unachievable, all-or-nothing, fast, young, male, equipment-orientated activity; general expressions of inclusion were needed. Specifically messages that salved; fears about looking silly, how to manage weather, understanding it doesn’t have to be everyday, fear of being thought of as an outsider, and more, were needed. (For more on this research, ask us.)

Outputs are both covert and overt, and in a form suitable for any business off-the-peg.

The overt outputs included posters which illustrate a solution to a barrier, linking it to a function of the PleaseCycle product. These are added to the client ‘dashboard’ on the PleaseCycle website.

The covert outputs included directions on where to position cycling paraphernalia in the business, such as putting bike racks out front because images of prevalence drive behaviour (the ‘image’ made by real people in the real world, rather than on a poster, is arguably more powerful for not being synthetic). This and more are included in a pack for our client and their clients. Additionally, a cheat-sheet of real-world behavioural influences is included.


We want cycling to be considered as a broad church, not an unachievable, all-or-nothing, fast, young, male, equipment-orientated activity.



Suggesting overt presentation of singe of paraphernalia associated with cycling.                 And cycle-racks placed prominently, out front.



Normalising the act with scheduled ‘show and tell’ groups.                Schedule group rides before home time to stop feelings of inferiority.



A lapse in cycling (however long) does not make one a ‘non cyclist’.



You don’t have to do it every day – other commitments are okay.



Women particularly worry about being sweaty, or have to define their clothes by cycling – one can plan ahead.


Whether you’re fit, or a ‘built for comfort not for speed’, there’s room for your approach.



This is for high-dwell areas, such as coffee/tea/fridges, etc. It brings to life a ludicrous range of cycling – without showing people (with whom you might not associate).



The headline promise in an email header – a broach church.