Harley Gets It Half Right


I’ve been around enough Harley riders over the years to understand that H-D is more of a brotherhood than a brand. Few companies understand its customers better… or know how to speak their language.

That’s why I l-o-v-e-d the motorcycle company’s new campaign “Screw It, Let’s Ride” when I first read about it. What a perfect way to fly in the face of today’s recessionary times… and predictable “tighten our belts” marketing.

But then I read the current ad copy that goes along with this BRILLIANT anthem and something doesn’t ring true to me.

Sounds more like copywriters who are more tuned into The Daily Show then the hearts and minds of true Harley-Davidson riders, who might use words like “pundits” or “spin,” but never in their own company.

Fantastic strategy, H-D. But let’s rush this copy into rewrite…

“We don’t do fear. Over the last 105 years in the saddle, we’ve seen wars, conflicts, depression, recession, resistance, and revolutions. We’ve watched a thousand hand-wringing pundits disappear in our rear-view mirror. But every time, this country has come out stronger than before. Because chrome and asphalt put distance between you and whatever the world can throw at you. Freedom and wind outlast hard times. And the rumble of an engine drowns out all the spin on the evening news. If 105 years have proved one thing, it’s that fear sucks and it doesn’t last long.”