Our challenge was to revive this iconic brand and make it more relevant for a younger audience, without turning off the core fans. We needed to convince a younger, more diverse audience that Harley-Davidson is not just for stereotypical ‘old, fat white guys.'
Our crowd engagement with the V&S community revealed a powerful insight: “No Cages” is a phrase born from motorcycle culture, meaning “anti-car.” This led to the strategy to make “No Cages” an inspiring philosophy on life for all people who want to live free, and give people the tools to do so. Because young people don’t want to be stereotyped any more than we do.
As a result of the “No Cages” campaign Harley-Davidson bike sales rose for the first time in nearly five years and shares went up 9%.
We employed an interactive pull strategy (vs. the historical push strategy) and asked real Harley riders to submit advertising ideas through Facebook, one of which served as the kernel for the ‘#Stereotypes’ campaign. As a result of the “#Stereotypes” campaign dealers sold more than 53,000 new motorcycles in the U.S., up 7.5% from the previous year. Dealers also saw the first year-over-year quarterly rise since Q4 2006 and five consecutive positive quarterly sales results.