I recently heard about ghost bikes. White painted bikes, left at the spot where people had fatal accidents on bikes. It seems that this started in the United States but has been adopted by many other countries. It’s interesting because it tell stories from many different angles from one common starting point. It tells the story person that died as well as the place they died. While being a little macabre, it once again show the power of symbolism in telling a story. These objects take on and transfer meaning to the observer. Part of their storytelling power comes from the scarcity (see influence stories). If there were thousands of these people would pay less attention, but the few that you see stand out. Unlike a newspaper obituary, a list of facts and details, the Ghost bike can convey this and the emotion at the same time without words and reach a wider audience. The secondary meaning of safety is also communicated to the observer of the Ghost bike, something an obituary could never do.
It strikes me in an od way that some people wanted to get across a message and found a way to tell their story effectively. When you look at brands we need to make sure they contain a story or your marketing materials will be just like the cyclist obituary! Unread and not memorable.