Having lived in London for the past 8 years and relying on my feet, taxis or other various means of public transport to get around, I forget how utterly reliant Americans and Canadians are on their cars. Whenever I go back home or travel somewhere in the U.S., there are always so many brilliant reminders of this.
I was in Miami this past Christmas and rented a big old American SUV to get around. Even driving from the car rental place to the highway, there were so many amazing examples of how interwoven cars are into American culture. American advertisers seem well aware of this, creating very stark and easy to digest large outdoor creative executions.
Many businesses have geared their services towards this and it was incredible to see the variety of companies offering drive-thru services, beyond the usual suspects like McDonald’s and fast-food restaurants of that ilk. Many banks, pharmacies, even doctor’s offices all had a drive-thru lane.
While we were driving around, we listened to the radio a lot. It was clear from all the dial turning we did that commercial radio is alive and kicking and there are stations in each market to cater to every niche – Spanish, hip-hop, R&B, C&W, classic rock – anything you can think of.
Even in New York, a city known for its subways and taxis, this was true. Apparently 1010 WINS, the local AM talk radio station, gets over 12 million listeners a day because people rely on the station to give them up to date local news, weather and information, all with a quintessentially New York spin.