Harley Davidson / Dark Custom Launch
Harley-Davidson, one of the world’s most iconic brands, was in the midst of a mini-crisis, facing shrinking sales when they weren't connecting with the youth demographic.
Some creative undercover research helped us refresh the meaning of rebellion for a new generation — punctuated by art, skateboarding, and snowsports. We channeled the media blitz into the launch of a global "Dark Custom" line of bikes.
Product placement in Kanye West video
Rolling Stone, Maxim, Outside, GQ, Men’s Journal, Esquire and many many more.
The key was understanding our audience. Moon Landing and Harley opened a a clandestine skate shop for research, and uncovered that young adults were experiencing a work/life imbalance … a “1⁄4 life crisis” of sorts. They were lusting for an opportunity to “do whatever it is that sets them free.” But they didn't want to be told what they wanted. They had to discover it on their own.
That inspired the Dark Custom Line: A rebellious design with a revolutionary price, crafted for a new generation of riders.
The launch was an all out-blitz:
An “Art of Rebellion Tour” tapped celebrities and renowned artists like Shepard Fairey gallery exhibits that furnished warehouses with lounge furniture, bikes and trendy “low-brow” art. Lines wrapped around city blocks in New York, and we had to turn riders away throughout L.A.. During preceding VIP media events, we staged epic photo opportunities for lifestyle editors.
We also partnered with brands who shared the same DNA as Harley: and passion for freedom and rebellion. That started with some of the world's most elite pro skaters, the Emerica skate team. We sent them on a “Wild Ride” cross-country motorcycle tour from Milwaukee to Philadelphia, stopping at massive skate park events along the way, and culminating in a powerful entrance at Emerica’s annual “Wild in the Streets” event. The event was so popular it was replicated the following year in an even bigger way, extending from L.A. to Chicago.
We connected Harley to another iconic brand, Burton Snowboards, to activate a sponsorship for the “Sturgis of Snowboarding,” the Abominable Snow Jam (ASJ). Harley provided Burton’s pro snowboard team with bikes to ride throughout the event to demonstrate the parallels between the two groups of riders and highlight "cruising with your friends from bikes to boards."
For each release, we sent bold, creative media kits to wake lifestyle editors up to the new movement brewing in one of America's most iconic brands.
In the end, the message was that it was all about the freedom to ride … no matter what you ride.