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Posts Tagged ‘Screw It’

hd-ride-on_aotwWhat confidence can give, lack of confidence can just as suddenly take away when it comes to financial conditions.

And that couldn’t be more true for Harley-Davidson’s international sales.  The international sales for the motor company primarily come from Europe, but its contribution to the total sales has been consistently declining.  Europe accounted for about 15% of unit sales last quarter, and the macro-economic conditions are so weak in Europe that there is very little Harley-Davidson can do to boost sales.

As a result, the “red phone” rang in the marketing department and Harley-Davidson worked with an advertising agency, Big Communications in London, to whip up a call-to-arms and encourage bikers to RIDE ON through the economic storm. Unless you lived under the proverbial rock, you may recall that back in 2008 at the height of the deep recession in the U.S., Harley-Davidson rolled out the “We don’t do fear”… “Screw it, let’s ride” campaign.

airplane-HD-AdThere was a time not so long ago in the U.S. that most economic indicators showed it was being hollowed out and the only economic activity that remained was food, power and undertakers.  The press wrote daily about how an economic doomsday was coming.  Those with expertise in economics told us that, without a doubt, the world is heading for financial Armageddon, or an economic ice age.  Basically the world’s gone to pot… and they weren’t talking about Washington state!

It now appears that the road ahead for motorcycle riders on the European continent (with apologies to science fiction writers everywhere) have just passed the “point of no return.”  Metaphorically, they don’t have enough fuel to return to the point of origin, and they just discovered they don’t have enough fuel to reach a planned destination.  The economy and society could very well end up in ashes.

In plain English and in the Harley-Davidson parlance of our time: You’re screwed so, why not whistle while you RIDE ON through the storm and enjoy the view until the fuel runs out!

Yawn…  Harley-Davidson has inspired so much more in interesting ads like the empty road version above.  It’s not clear to me why the marketing group thinks they need to go back to an old call-to-arms ad style like “Ride On.”

Photo courtesy of Big Communications and H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Communication technology and digital media have transformed almost every sector of society, altering the way we express ideas, participate in public debates, connect with others, entertain ourselves and define our identities.  The implications of the digital age are profound

And for the past 31-years, Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch has helped build the Harley-Davidson brand through innovative ideas in advertising, digital and public relations.  You may not know the agency, but you’ll remember their “Screw It, Let’s Ride” campaign which inspired people to get out and ride independent of what the economy is doing or what the pundits tell us.  In addition they developed the more recent award winning Harlista campaign which resulted in an 8.2% increase in share of motorcycles among Hispanic targets and a 615% increase in web traffic to the Hispanic section of the H-D web site.

But the relationship is no more.  The two companies have what the Tiger Woods divorce attorney’s might label as “irretrievably broken” as the two companies parted ways this week.

Clearly Carmichael Lynch wasn’t satisfied with a smaller lead advertising role and “resigned” as H-D’s new strategy has been moving away from a singular consumer agency and instead is working with several creative agencies like McCann, VSA Partners, Davie Brown and others.

In an era when relationships are measured in “internet time” the fact that this agency has been able to successfully maintain a client relationship for so many years and produce quality, award winning creative against many odds stands for something in my book!

Photo courtesy of H-D and Carmichael Lynch.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Harley launched a new ad campaign this week.  This is the new rally cry from the MBA marketing guru’s at the Motor Company.  I’m thinking a bunch of them were in a conference room whining the blues about workforce reductions and said “WTF, 8% getting laid off…screw it.  C’mon let’s ride!”

I like it!  It’s a great slogan.  They should make bumper stickers.  Wait, they did that.  You have to admit it does stick in your head…sort of like McDonalds; “I’m Lov’n It” or “Just Do It” from Nike.  Now if they just had a little music “ditty” like them Intel boyz after every PC inside logo commercial…

With a new record set for a barrel of crude oil ($123.00) today, do they really think freedom and wind will outlast all these hard times?  I’m sure the rumble of a 110cu in will drown out the nightly news, but can chrome and black top really separate you from what the world has dished up?  I don’t know, but it can’t hurt, can it?!

So, go to the site.  I did (left picture) and spoke out my rally cry. 

 

For some reason I now feel better…

 

Photos courtesy of HD

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