Harley-Davidson has always held a certain fascination for the monied elite, from Wall Street bankers to Middle Eastern oil sheiks. They all ride on the essence of the freedom brand. Since the motor company jettisoned more employees over the holidays it’s now dabbling in a bit of capital resource-allocation and looking for Hollywood’s crucial role in revitalizing the companies pop culture standing.
We live in a world of brands. Think Zoo York t-shirts, or Jukijama sneakers. It’s a thirst for fame.
Savvy celebs are trying to fuse entertainment and social networking, closing the gap between performer and fan. Even hip-hop “musician’s” using their often limited musical footprint to expand into merch have far exceeded t-shirts and turned to alcohol concoctions to sell “cool”. So, can we really blame Harley-Davison for flexing their marketing muscle and trying to close the gap with youth in order to survive?
The key is authenticity.
Harley-Davidson has to choose associations that are credible and organic if they wish to succeed. Why? Because the essence of Harley-Davidson is freedom—outfitting confident individuals to assert their true independence. All their products under the brand reflect this rock-solid individuality. It’s like an Armani suit. Sure, you could say it’s part of your wardrobe, but it’s more than just a business suit. It’s a state of mind.
In the latest example of cementing their mainstream outreach Harley-Davidson has joined up with Marvel on the official 2012 The Avengers movie promotion. You can watch the official Avengers movie trailer (HERE). Little information is available on exactly what the promotion is, but here is a sign-up page (HERE) to enter information and become one of the first fans to know about the promotion.
If you’re thinking this is déjà vu all over again. You’re right! Marvel previously partnered with Harley-Davidson on Captain America: The First Avenger movie. Captain America rode a Harley-Davidson replica of the “Liberator”, a classic H-D motorcycle that was used by U.S. Service Men and Women during World War II. For the Captain America promotion, Harley-Davidson launched an interactive site and ran a sweepstakes with a customized H-D motorcycle as one of the prizes. They even made Captain America posters available at dealers, and auctioned off a bike signed by the Hollywood elite in the movie to benefit Disabled American Veterans.
For The Avengers, maybe they’ll be riding a new CVO Road Glide?! The teaser states “You could be immortalized in Harley-Davidson and Marvel’s, The Avengers history.” Are we talking about funeral’s and a headstone?!
If so, maybe we need to lean into those $10,000 imported padded shoulders of that Armani suit because just like The Avenger it serves as a defensive role and deflects nearly all ill-infused assaults from all manner of scumbags, hangers on, wannabees and true movie biz powerhouses.
Photos courtesy of Marvel and H-D.