Archive for October 9th, 2008

At Street Vibrations this year I visited the Indian Motorcycle “booth”.  They had a large display of motorcycles set up in the show truck on 3rd and Virginia Street which is right under the “Biggest Little City” sign in Reno.  It was often crowded and interest was high.  Unfortunately they didn’t sell t-shirts.  If so, I would have drop a bit more coin for some so, maybe it was a good thing. 

At any rate, the Indian Motorcycle Company, owned largely by Stellican Limited (a London-based private equity firm) has quite the history and you can learn much more about Americas first motorcycle HERE.

Recently Indian opened the first dealership in Charlotte, NC and provided factory tours in Kings Mountain.  Here is a video of the tour.  I know people who have several old Indian’s and it’s exciting to see the brand return.  I hope they are very successful as they represent the only other American-made heavyweight cruiser to compete with Harley-Davidson.  Competition is good.

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Marisa Miller Ad Campaign

Marisa Miller Ad Campaign

I’m not talking about scientific modeling of stress joints in the R&D department! 

Harley-Davidson announced a new ad campaign that will start Oct. 10th featuring Marisa Miller.  She will be the person promoting the new V-Rod Muscle motorcycle, a sporty, sleek bike that targets a younger, urban and affluent demographic. 

Miller is a Victoria’s Secret model and has made the rounds of late on reality television shows, men’s magazines such as Maxim and this year, she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.

Miller was quoted to say in an interview:

“My uncle rides a Harley, my dad rides bikes,”… “I’ve been around it my whole life.”

Miller has likely had more “offers” than she can count on her fingers and toes, but her uncle riding a V-Twin doesn’t make her a motorcycle enthusiast or an authentic spokesperson for the industry.  It does mean that Harley is guilty of the ‘ol advertising adage that “sex sells“, but what?

Almost everything from toothpaste to deodorant is sold with the promise of sex so why not Harley-Davidson as they go on an endless pursuit of trying to reach out to a younger, hipper demographic… Sure, Miller is recognizable and I’m sure lots of teenage boyz will flood the web site to download videos, wallpapers and photos.  The video of the ad shoot is HERE.

Wake up guys!!!  Exploitation is a stale marketing idea.  But, if anyone has line-of-sight on a large autographed poster let me know…I’ve got a special spot on my garage wall!

Photo courtesy of Miller web site.

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