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Archive for February 16th, 2011

Are you Hokiddingme!

It’s true.  The press release is HERE with an accompanying H-D executive quote:

“We’re excited about what the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge represents to our riders,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director of Customer Experience. “The new direction of being more about a personal test of touring endurance, where rider and machine stretch the boundaries of long-distance touring, appeals to us. It’s a perfect match for the superior touring experience and capabilities of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. ‘Hoka Hey’ translates to ‘It’s a good day to ride!’ and that is always the case on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

Does the Harley-Davidson corporate firewall prevent Google searches?  Or is the company desperate for publicity – even bad publicity?

There are so many lingering questions about the legitimacy of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge that even after Will Barclay, the so-called winner of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, stated the $500,000 in prize money was wired to his bank account – no one believed him – he won’t produce proof – and months after the race the drum beat of rage in the motorcycle forums and Facebook pages about allegations of a full-blown scam and improprieties of Big Jim Durham/Redcloud continues unabated.

Is it possible for a 3-country, 14-day rally to get arranged, promoted, staffed and managed in such a short time (HHC 2011 is August 20, 2011), and come off with fewer legal threats, contradictions, communication issues, controversy and disorganization than last year?

And Harley-Davidson wants to entrust their brand with this organization?!

Photo courtesy of HHC/H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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"No Cages" Advertising

It’s official.

The first work from Harley-Davidson’s new ‘hookup’ with Boulder, CO.-based crowdsourcing agency Victor & Spoils has debuted on YouTube.  The consumer-created spot was born of a new agency model that H-D adopted after parting with longtime agency Carmichael Lynch last year.

Watch the YouTube video HERE.

Congrats and a shout out to Whit Hiler, the Kentuckian who’d submitted the “No Cages” original idea that is also part of Harley’s HD1 factory customization program in which buyers can design their own rides.

It’s an old and improved formula, but it doesn’t make me want to part with my cash!  Maybe you will?  It doesn’t have that viral feel where people are watching the video and then instantly going to Twitter and Facebook, to start a dialogue.

We live in an “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” culture, where speed to stardom and availability of technology makes about anyone a creative director. And this video has a get it done fast, good enough is good enough look.   In the internet world, where everything happens now, this is anathema.  Everything’s here today, gone tomorrow.  Like a lot of advertising these days, the big idea is lost and the execution is vanilla.  I would have thought that V&S’s multiple years of experience would have vetted out the creative gold-nuggets from the train-wreck incarnate.

This creative spot wreaks of ratings/hits, not quality and has a race to the bottom mentality.  Mr. Richer, isn’t this how Pontiac died?!  Is it time for a mea culpa?  When you contrast how the big middle finger of rebellion helped build this brand and now advertising which has been replaced with me-too imitation…  It’s got to be about the long haul.  Not overnight success, but enduring success.  Forget about genres.  Just be good.

I’m still a fan of H-D, but not for this ad.

UPDATE: February 16, 2011 – Mark-Hans Richer (H-D CMO) told in an interview to Ad Age: “We’re really happy with the way it  [“Cages”] came out…”

Photo courtesy of H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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