Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stereotypical marketing

In another of those coincidences where I write about something one day and a brand proves my point the next, we have this quotation in an AdAge article from Harley-Davidson's Mark-Hans Richer about their new campaign #stereotypicalharley:
"There really is no stereotypical customer. That's the whole point of it."

I have criticized Harley-Davidson marketing for parting ways with Carmichael Lynch, the ad agency that saved their bacon in the '80s, and their decision to crowd-source creative ideas for their ads. I still don't believe those decisions will serve the brand well in the long run.

This campaign, however, gets one thing right. It shows how one brand can serve many different demographics by finding something common in all of them. In the article, Mr. Richer says it's about "living the life you choose." That's a politically-correct way of explaining what really binds these people together.

I'd say its about expressing their inner outlaw.

Yes, these people may be teachers, soccer moms, artists, soldiers, etc., but when they get on their Harleys they get to be something else, something the world doesn't ordinarily see. It's obvious from the images in the spot. The riders are not smiling, happy innocents.

These normal, workaday people get on their bikes and suddenly they're a little bit badass.

That's the common bond for the Harley brand. It feeds that archetypal need that exists at some level within all of us to rebel from conformity.

What deep-seated desire can your brand feed? Focus on that and you'll find a way to attract more – and more diverse – people than you ever thought possible to your products.

1 comment:

  1. Harv:

    Thanks for sharing. Love the Harley campaign spot! Great creative, simple, tells the true brand story with a few customer images...and never "selling". What could be better?
    Let me know when you're in Madtown. Book time! Alan