1.29.2009

Piled Higher and Deeper

My friends and co-workers Bill and Chris have weighed in with their personal assessments of H-D's misguided attempt to attract sub-septuagenarian miscreants with their modestly priced and curiously named Iron 883™. Now it's my turn…

The viral video for Harley's latest low-buck ride is well shot, well cast, well staged and well intentioned. I enjoyed the light-handed text treatment for the bike's features, despite their vapid nature (Side-mounted license plate? Drag bars? Raw look? WTF?) If Harley's marketing wizards would stop pandering and start listening, they'd realize the aging BMXers and skateboarders they're killing themselves to attract care more about horsepower, torque and 0-60 splits than "Straight-cut shorties." At least that's the opinion of this '70s BMXer and 21st century copywriter.

Things got weird in Harley's latest viral video when the rugged voiceover intoned that Harley's cult of personality is not a secret society… hollow sentiments from the same company that instructed its dealers to treat their Dark Customs catalog like "a secret handshake" for young buyers. Bill's analogy about picks, shovels and mining for gold is perfect, as was Chris's plea to The Motor Company for honesty and simplicity. If I could add a couple more items to their wish lists, it would be these:

Fire your advertising agency. Their team of capped teeth and greasy hairdo's seems even more enamored by your former glories than you do. Hire people who know how to avoid bullshit… not merely throw it.

Give the people what they want—not what you think they want. It takes much more—and much less—than skulls and crossbones to attract modern consumers.

I'm pulling for Harley-Davidson to succeed, if for no other reason than the jobs they might bring to our foundering economy. When I see a 105-year-old dinosaur trying to reach kids in horn rims and high tops, it gives me hope. Let's just hope they don't blow it with more ham-fisted hyperbole like this:



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4 comments:

rudderramjet said...

it's value priced- couple little tweaks here & there... pretty nice scoot actually~

rudderramjet said...

watched that utube video clip with no sound- i like this scoot-- couple tweaks here & there--- seems like a pretty damn good value for $8000

blogmaster said...

I agree: it's a great bike.

My point is Harley tries way too hard to push it down Gen X's throat.

"Raw Look"

Enough, already.

Tman said...

HD advertising fuckwads have been reading DiCe!

This comig from a fuckwad that was trained in advertising!