Ask your non riding friends to describe the typical motorcycle rider, or better yet, ask someone who doesn’t know that you ride, to do the same. Do you recognize the person they’re talking about? Once you’ve been riding for any length of time, it quickly becomes clear there is no average rider, no “typical” job, education, age, socio-economic status or lifestyle that sets riders apart from anyone else. The only real difference between riders and non riders is that simple fact; one rides, one doesn’t.
Harley Davidson has begun a new advertising campaign with photos of a series of riders identified by the Twitter hashtag – “#StereotypicalHarley [fill in the blank].” The fill in the blank portion could be “soccer mom,” “gourmet chef” or most anything else. Harley has probably had more of a stereotype associated with it than most other brands, and it’s often completely baseless, but motorcycles in general have had the same identity issues and most of those opinions and views held by non riders or even riders of other brands or types of motorcycles, tend to be based on nothing more than one or two specific experiences, if that.
I like the idea of the campaign. It confronts the misconceptions of who rides a Harley and shows the typical rider might be more like you or me or practically anyone, than those holding those stereotypical images in their minds would like to believe. They also invite Harley riders to upload a photo and description of themselves via Instagram, because their campaign is based on actual owners and riders.
I think this idea could be expanded to include almost any motorcycle rider, not just those on the Motor Company’s models. Who is your average or stereotypical Honda rider, or Ducati or Royal Enfield or …? Pretty interesting.
Harley press release:
MILWAUKEE: Harley-Davidson rider…three words that tend to create a series of stereotypical images which span age, ethnicity, socio-economic status and lifestyle. Today, Harley-Davidson introduces the latest evolution of its “No Cages” campaign, which puts real Harley riders in the spotlight, while challenging stereotypes and launching the new Seventy-Two Sportster model.
Titled ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ or “out of many, one,” the new campaign is the first content born out of Harley-Davidson’s new crowd-sourcing Facebook application called Fan Machine. Fan Machine allows Harley-Davidson’s 3.3 million Facebook fans to review an advertising brief, submit ideas and vote on submissions from other community members.
The centerpiece of the new campaign is a series of digital videos featuring genuine Harley-Davidson riders and a corresponding stereotype showcased as a Twitter hashtag – “#StereotypicalHarley [fill in the blank].” The ads are designed to start a conversation that will come alive in the social sphere through Harley-Davidson’s Web site and social platforms.
“The beauty of the ‘E Pluribus Unum’ campaign is that it uses the element of surprise that exists in every Harley-Davidson owner to inspire people to think about riding our motorcycles,” said Scott Beck, Harley-Davidson’s General Manager of Marketing Operations for North America.
Link: Harley Davidson