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Posts Tagged ‘Harley Ad’

Let me start off by saying I like Indian motorcycles. I really do.  I’m digging the variety of styles and the attention to detail on each build.

But, my heart is with Harley…

In a previous post I discussed the Indian “Challenger Challenge,” a campaign that invites motorcyclists to test ride the Challenger and the Harley-Davidson Road Glide® Special back-to-back for a head-to-head comparison.

It’s brilliant.

It’s worth pausing for a moment to consider how this campaign would’ve worked out if Indian used any other motorcycle in their lineup vs. the Road Glide — one of Harley’s bagger cash cow.  It’s dangerous to make assertions about “might-have-beens,” or what analytic philosophers like to call “counterfactuals,” because no evidence can exist that fully demonstrates the falseness of such an assertion.

But, I’ve digressed.

A “bake-off” for the preeminent bagger, demonstrates a battle for supremacy in the public mind.  It’s also a battle for cultural supremacy, not a judgement about features, technical prowess or achievements.  It’s the subtlety of Indian craving the appeal of that, what makes a Harley, a Harley.  That ineffable something (that je ne sais quoi, if you need a phrase to go with your cappuccino).

So, in classic Harley fashion, and only 5-months in the role, Jon Bekefy (GM of Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson) calls BS and snapped back at Indian.  Mr. Bekefy uploaded an agency polished Instagram post and in the process scorches Polaris. (Bekefy Twitter)

In other words, “Anything Polaris/Indian can do, Harley can do better.”  Clearly the General Manager of Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson doesn’t want to get upstaged.

We all know that Harley-Davidson is not just a bike, it’s a choice.  An existential decision and the life that follows upon it.

Wait.  That statement may not be as defensible, since Harley is now promising to be another “transportation” manufacture delivering a Chinese 338cc bike where affordability remains paramount to the upscale EV future of two-wheel transportation and includes all bicycle types in between.

As Indian and Harley arm wrestle each other over boomer-centric models, it has a limited lifespan and is unlikely to generate a lot of new riders, but it’s pure theater and fun to watch!

Photo courtesy Instagram.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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It started as whispers, but lately we’ve heard more and more about the “R” word.

Recovery of the economy.

Economists are starting to down play the recession and clearly chatter from our D.C. representatives is all about a turning point as retail sales beat forecasts and for the first time in 10 years 160K jobs were created in the month of March.  However, the unemployment rate remains steady at 9.7% nationally and it really looks like the pace of growth won’t drive rapid improvement in the labor market.

And speaking of job growth, Harley-Davidson has taken some of the oxygen out any recovery in Milwaukee.  According to the Biz Journal the motor company filed a mass layoff notice this week with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development informing the agency that it was undergoing a permanent reduction in force and will lay off 94 employees at its distribution center in Franklin beginning June 7.  Unemployment remains steady at 8.7% in Wisconsin.  This news was not unexpected as the motor company announced more than a year ago that it was closing the distribution center as part of a major reduction in operations, with a third-party company picking up parts, accessories and general merchandise distribution.

Clearly the labor market distress remains high and I’m not making light of hard working folks difficulties.   But, if it’s any consolation – plus the fact that this week Tiger returned to the Masters, launched a new 3D PGA Online Game and Nike’s greedy geniu$ made us feel CREEPY for the multimillionaire after rolling out a new ad featuring his dead father’s voice – Wisconsin is ranked among the top states for its ratio of golfers to courses and during this most distressful time, might I suggest a round of golf to reduce stress?  Better yet, maybe you could snag a 4-some in the middle of the day with Mr. Keith Wandell (H-D CEO) who according to a number of press reports is an avid golfer and discuss etiquette or share tips!

Photo courtesy of GoGo Caddy and H-D.


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“What a long, strange trip it’s been,” said the infamous Jerry Garcia.

And how true that statement is after tuning in to the “news briefing” by Tiger Woods yesterday.  The whole controlled and sterile event with a so-called heartfelt speech was bizzare.

The new American sport is apologizing.

Maybe it should be an Olympic event?!  You barely have to offend before some nitwit demands you whip out a confession admitting your crime, talk about rehab or therapy and express regret.  Huh?  Have you ever stopped to think maybe the person meant to do it.  Maybe they’re just not like you and I?

As if athletes are not jocks doing it for personal glory.  And cash!  That’s the real story (money), but we don’t want to admit it to ourselves.

And how about that Buddhist comment?  It’s the first time we’ve heard about his “lifelong” teachings.  And why is it we never hear about them when the athlete is on top, but they make up a major part of every “victim’s” apology speech when they hit bottom.

Tiger cheated on his wife and family.  Why is this even on TV?  His actions had no impact on the actual results of the golf events he participated in.  I don’t think he owes anyone an apology other than his wife, family and friends.  I could care less if his apology and confession were sincere or not.  It won’t change if and when I play golf.  So, the Great Apology, a speech about how a man had been living a lie and a dishonest life expects people to take him on his word that everything he says is true – now.

Quoting the Accenture ad… “Opportunity isn’t always obvious”…  It would seem prudent for the soon-to-be single Tiger to collaborate with Harley-Davidson.  And I mean this as no disrespect to Harley.  Go to commercial:  Cue opening to George Thorogood playing “Bad to the Bone” as the camera pans across a leggy brunette to his face as he looks back with that pouty-lipped look he does, then there is an Elvis snarl…while revving the throttle…another Elvis snarl as the bagger burns out.  Cue announcer as Tiger smiles and says “Screw It, Let’s Ride”…

Personally this whole greedy geniu$ event had me believing in him less today than I did yesterday, but it’s his life.

Photo courtesy of PRX Radio

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