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Posts Tagged ‘Badge’

Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

There is now the Sons Of Anarchy collection of die-cast motorcycles.

Back in December, Maisto announced they worked closely with 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson to bring fans of the show 1:18 scale die-cast versions of the SOA motorcycles in association with the TV show characters: Jax, Clay, Opie and JT – the SOA Motorcycle Collection.

Not only can you now dress and ride like SOA outlaws, thanks to a flurry of licensing deals that includes everything from actual motorcycles at Bartel’s H-D to hats, games, stationary, jewelry, calendars, stickers, wall graphics and more.   Now while sitting in your work cube thinking about the winter cold you can have your very own die-cast outlaw motorcycle to stare at and think about how you can’t wait to ride in warmer weather!

The Maisto brand name was registered in 1990 by May Cheong, a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing die cast replicas for over 40 years.  They have over 11,000 employees worldwide, and manufacturing facilities covering more than 2 Million square feet.

Sons Of Anarchy merchandise sales have grown 70% year-to-year since 2010.  This is not a U.S. only concept as the TV show is a hit in U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands.  And with the TV show committed through a seventh season merchandise sales will only increase.

Previous SOA/H-D license deals blog post HERE.

Photo courtesy of Maisto, 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles

I called this back in 2009 with a post called Bottling Ideas.  UPDATE: Actually now that I’ve re-scanned the blog it was even earlier with a post in 2008 called Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle HERE.

I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy (SOA)“, and a new deal with Harley-Davidson for custom motorcycles made by 20th Century Fox Consumer Products as part of a flurry of licensing deals for SOA that includes clothing, leather jackets, hats, t-shirts, games, calendars, stationary and much more.

Thanks to Bartels’ Harley-Davidson the bike maker will produce 100 limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles that will retail for about $25,000 each at Harley dealers this fall.   Now TV viewers can further tap into the motorcycle club fantasy… who doesn’t want to pretend to be a ‘clubber’ and ride a faux outlaw biker motorcycle, right?

I can’t think of another TV show that cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is a taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product for the rebellious and the dispossessed.  If ever there was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador it would be Kurt Sutter’s (@sutterink), Son’s of Anarchy!

SOA is about to enter its fifth season, and is now the most-watched show in its history among total viewers 18-49. The most recent season the show averaged 5.5 million viewers per episode. It was also the number three DVD release among TV shows in 2011.  And after growing online merchandise sales for FX’s top-rated show about 70 percent year-to-year since 2010, Fox is shifting to brick and mortar retailers like Spencer Gifts, Transworld/FYE and Hastings.

I wouldn’t be honest if I failed to mention that this feels like a disaster for any person who rides to a rally thinking they’ll have instant club admiration.  However, it could be shrewd marketing of misbehavior and we’ll see a formal offering from the motor company every year!  Any of the “noise” generated in the press and blogosphere helps in terms of show profile, helps H-D reinforce how the middle finger of rebellion built the brand.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but he does deserve a big shout-out for remaining true to the setting in the TV show without becoming stereotypical.  We know it’s hard work compared to the Laffing Devils crap the Discovery Channel is trying to pass off as good TV.

Here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the years: OMG New Media Darlings; Men of MayhemBikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of LifeBottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 IdeasWorking The SOA Trail

Photo courtesy of SOA and RatRodStudios.com.

All Right Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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SOA FXD Dyna Superglide

SOA FXD Dyna Superglide

I was flipping TV channels last night and landed on FX during a commercial.

Nothing so special about that… WAIT… they’re advertising a Sons of Anarchy custom Harley-Davidson FXD Dyna Superglide motorcycle with a Custom Reaper paint job!

THAT… idea seems very familiar.  Sure enough, I blogged last year about how H-D marketing ought to consider developing a SAMCRO Limited Edition motorcycle and now they are doing it.

I don’t know if Eagle’s Nest Harley-Davidson (13900 Harlan Road, Lathrop, CA) saw the post and acted on my idea, but they indeed developed a promotional giveaway campaign with the SOA producers and created a unique branding tie in to the television show.  In my view, that’s creative marketing!  Or rather its good strategic co-branding/partnering with the right ingredients that make sense for the manufacturer and producer.   Kudo’s H-D!

Before you haters get tripped up on this idea and launch a barrage of poser comments…  Let’s maintain perspective here as the “Reaper” bike is like co-branding NASCAR merchandise.  It’s an “ingredient brand” motorcycle that will appeal to enthusiasts who like and/or identify with the show.  Think about the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy 500 themed or co-branded pace cars with GM.  Just because you wear a race t-shirt and drive a 1989 Pontiac Trans-Am Pace Car does not make you an Indy 500 race car driver!

I’m sure anyone who rides the “Reaper Bike” knows who they are and what they are about and wouldn’t pass themselves off as a club affiliated biker.

Photo courtesy of SOA web site.

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soa_wingFor a company that has been around since the dawn of time Harley has been most successful in what’s called “licensed lifestyle” items.  You’ve seen all the pet products, footwear, jewelry, under garments, furniture, Burger King toys, and other companion products which promote or extend to items that people use as a badge of identifying themselves with the Harley brand.  Some might argue that Harley could win the “Motorcycle Whore Award” for the brand that has most “sold out” and sticks their logo on about anything.  Remember the Harley-Davidson cake-decorating kit made available in baking stores and on web sites?  It was licensed by Bakery Crafts.

hd_icing_kitI’ve written previously about Harley’s brand promise and their movie product placements.  They have had a number of successes, but that cake-decorating kit was bad, illogical and a case of product dissonance between the companies core identity and how to reach untapped markets.  It diluted the brand.

But we live in an age of relentless co-branding so, what should Harley do?  I suggest they leverage the success of the TV show Son’s of Anarchy and launch a co-branded SAMCRO Edition Motorcycle.  Make it a limited edition “Reaper Crew” model specializing in the club paint theme and graphics.  This embraces the free spirited and rebellious associations of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club while nurturing family relationships that maintain a loyal motorcycle community.  A core identity for Harley.  As a bonus they could throw in a DVD set of Season #1, a wallet cheat sheet of the biker language and club terminology, a unique skull-head key FOB and maybe even a t-shirt!   We’ll talk about SAMCRO cologne later!

There is precedence (Clapton/Fender, Jordan/Nike, BMW/007) for a product and “sell-lebrity” co-branding and the key to any brand extension is make sure it connects with what people love most about the brand. 

A SAMCRO Edition motorcycle might be just the ticket.  What do you think?  Would you consider buying a SAMCRO Edition motorcycle from Harley-Davidson?

Photos courtesy of FX Networks and Bakery Crafts web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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