Jan 30, 2012

Ride with the Gunny?

This is the most baffling ad campaign I've ever seen. What is the attraction to riding a hippobike with a grumpy old guy? If that sells bikes, Honda should pay me to take squids out on the CBR250R. Hell, I'll even yell at them if that adds value. I'll check their hippy credentials, harass them about their poor riding skills, and hand them over to a cop for special attention at the end. We could fill a local jail with violators if that sells bikes. What do you say?


Chris said...

heart of motorcycling huh?

Paul Compton said...

"This is obviously some strange new meaning of the word 'best' that I was previously unaware of"

(with appologies to Douglas Addams)

T.W. Day said...

I think Mr. Addams would be proud to have his phrase used in this application.

Paul said...

It's really not a bad ad for it's target market.
But now I know whats wrong with me and my lack of interest in overweight cruisers - I've never been to the heart of motorcycling!

A conversation I've had many times: "Oh, you ride a motorcyle? Is it a harley?" me - "No, it's a ____",
usually followed by a confused look. "Well, have you been to Sturgis?" "Nope, got no interest in hanging out with 100,000 drunks on bikes with no mufflers". Then they turn away...

Gerry said...

I'm old and overweight, so I satisfy two of the apparent requirements to attend Sturgis. But I refuse to wear a bandana.
Well, also, I don't own a Harley.

Anonymous said...

Harley and Victory do not make the kinds of bikes I want. Mostly because I don't believe in spending $20k on a motorcycle.

Thank being said when I was at the motorcycle show a couple of weeks ago, I actually gave kudos to Harley and Victory for their booths. At least they go through the trouble of building booths and exhibits that might make somebody want to actually BUY one of their motorcycles. At Harley you could sit on a running motorcycle. Try different handlebars on another. Victory had Roadrunner magazine on site. The overall theme "buy one of our bikes and then get on it and ride it somewhere." Lots of accessories and images everywhere in their booths.

Contrast that to the Honda booth which was as sterile as a gauze pad and just about as interesting. I loved the NC700X, but without some sort of message around the bike (accessories, images of people riding to work, sales people who actually knew anything about the bike) what average person is going to walk past that bike and not view it as just another nameless cookie cutter Japanese bike?

Even the Ducati booth was a let down. Sure I know it was a dealer supported only thing, but remember the Ducati booths of old? You walked into a complete euro experience. It got you jazzed about Ducati.

I do give some props to Kawasaki and Suzuki. Lots of bikes with luggage and accessories. From the Ninja to the KLR to the Versys, all were shown with accessory bags, tail packs, and luggage. My favorite was the Ninja 1000 with full factory Givi setup. A more compelling sport tourer than the gigantic Concours.

I think the Manufacturers need to be pushing this sort of thing. In a down economy I just don't think it is enough to plop a bike or two on the show floor and say, "there you go, buy it if you want it." You have to give people a reason to get jazzed up about your motorcycles.

T.W. Day said...

Good points. Years ago, I wrote a Geezer column where I poked at Harley's engineering department and Yasmaha, Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki's missing-in-action marketing departments (http://home.comcast.net/~twday60/geezer/geezer2.htm). I suspect Ducati is in Euro-zone deep doodoo and we're probably lucky they can still afford to send us a bike or two. Their display was lame, though.

I admit to wanting to swing my damaged legs over a fully-loaded KLR's seat. Several of their bikes were well-displayed. Yamaha's lotto ball game mostly put me off. Several of their representative-dealers were clinically depressed.