Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes = Powerful Visual Communication

PUBLIC Bikes is a design-oriented urban bicycle and gear company. The brand’s photos and videos are so lovely and nostalgic they’re guaranteed to make you want to explore your city on two wheels (just take a look at their Libris portal).

PUBLIC’s COO, Dan Nguyen-Tan, says it’s a big part of PUBLIC’s mission to inspire people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as bike riders to give it a try.

“Someone could look at our visuals and go, ‘I can envision myself looking and feeling this way, and I don’t necessarily envision myself as cyclist,'” he explains.

One speed, infinite style (and on sale this week). http://bit.ly/2015publicC1

A photo posted by PUBLIC Bikes (@publicbikes) on

What Moves You?

Now, PUBLIC is teaming up with Banana Republic for a campaign called, “What Moves You?”

Banana Republic is giving away PUBLIC bikes at 30 of its locations, and PUBLIC is giving away bikes online. But this campaign is more than just a bike giveaway.

The project came about when Banana Republic’s design team took a trip to Amsterdam. The team was inspired by Amsterdam’s biking culture and street style – a perfect parallel to what inspired PUBLIC.

“Our origin story comes from our trips to Europe,” says Nguyen-Tan, “and we like to think of our bikes as European-inspired.”

The brands’ shared inspiration and shared imagery makes “What Moves You?” an engaging campaign for their customers.

By aligning with each other’s visuals, both brands tell a story that highlights their own values (and yours, as the customer).

What Moves Banana Republic

Check out this window at the Banana Republic store in Portland.

Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes Window Display

Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes Window Display

Let’s break down the visual components here:

    1. The pane on the left reads, “A transportation study showed that 40% of Americans surveyed would prefer to bike to work if safe paths were available. Here’s your path… get moving!”

    2. The map next to the text shows the routes you could take to bike to work in Portland, one of Bicycling‘s top 50 bike-friendly cities in the U.S.

    3. Banana Republic’s new collection and the PUBLIC bike in the window to show you what you could look like while biking to work.

The visual elements of this window work together to tell you that if you are the kind of person who wants to bike to work, you can be. No more excuses. Safety isn’t a concern anymore, and you wouldn’t have to wear your spandex and change when you got to work. With Banana Republic’s fall collection and a PUBLIC bike, you could ride to work in style.

What Moves PUBLIC Bikes

The campaign reinforces PUBLIC’s messaging that you can wear anything while wearing their bikes. Note numbers 8 and 9 below.


And with a bike this stylish, you’ll want your outfit to match – no spandex necessary – which is why aligning with Banana Republic’s branding works so well for PUBLIC.

On their own website, PUBLIC shares the news about the campaign with visuals ranging from a map of all the cities where Banana Republic is giving away bikes, to a slideshow with pictures of the bikes they’re giving away online and a countdown to the entry deadline, to an infographic about why you should “follow in the bike paths of Amsterdam.” Nguyen-Tan says PUBLIC took inspiration from Banana Republic’s windows.

“We took the cues from their visual design in their stores and tried to mimic aspects of it on our webpage,” he explains.

The Takeaway

This campaign highlights the power of visual communication. They tap into the “why” of buying new clothes or a new bike. They connect with your values. They help you picture what you’d look like biking to work or taking a Sunday ride around your city. And they do all of this with captivating visuals.

Say “hello!” to my bike at a Banana Republic near you! #publicbikes #swoon #prettybluebike🚲 A photo posted by Marlo Bontempo / San Diego (@perfecthairties) on

The Results

Check out our new post, PUBLIC Bikes Hones Brand Messaging through Partnership with Banana Republic, to hear about the outcome and ROI of the campaign from PUBLIC’s COO, Dan Nguyen-Tan.

PUBLIC & Libris

PUBLIC Bikes’ Visual Designer, Nicole Faraclas, uses Libris as her visual asset management solution.

“We have a huge body of assets of amazing photography and we just didn’t have a clean way of searching,” she remembers.

Now, she can work with a wide range of photographers, tag images with keywords, and create galleries to show off PUBLIC’s stunning imagery.

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