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Come Together: Harley-Davidson spotlights innovative, customer-inspired motorcycles in new global work

Milwaukee (August 19, 2013) - It’s all coming together at Harley-Davidson – a brand that’s taking its commitment to crowd-sourcing to the next level in both its marketing and product innovation. Today, the category-leading company unveiled its first-ever global marketing campaign – designed under the “United by Independents” banner – to support a revolutionary line of new 2014 motorcycles.

Although the campaign showcases all new motorcycle innovations, the star of the show is not a single bike – rather eight new bikes under the banner Project RUSHMORE, the outcome of a new customer-driven product development effort, which Harley-Davidson implemented to re-engineer the world’s best-selling line of touring motorcycles.

Project RUSHMORE used rider insights – gathered by the brand during thousands of rides and personal interactions with customers – to deliver never-before-seen motorcycling enhancements, such as the first original-equipment voice recognition and touchscreen for music, GPS navigation and on-motorcycle phone.

A fitting soundtrack for this fan-inspired effort is a gutsy, modern re-imagination of The Beatles’ iconic hit, “Come Together.”  

“‘Come Together’ is not merely a song in our spot – it’s an anthem for our relationship with our fans,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.  “They’re at the heart of everything we do. No one is more emotionally vested in Harley-Davidson than our fans. That’s why we turn to them.”  

“YOU’VE GOT TO BE FREE”
The engine of the global integrated campaign, which was completely cast through social media, is a new television commercial called “Our Night.”

The spot opens with a rider using voice recognition to tell his motorcycle to “play track one.”
The rider’s vocal command launches an exclusive new version of “Come Together,” which is delivered by The Strypes, four young rockers from Ireland signed to Photo Finish Records in the U.S. licensed by Universal Music Enterprises.

In true Harley-Davidson fashion, The Strypes were discovered by crowd-sourcing the music industry for bands courageous enough to contemporize the globally recognized tune.  The band will use the song as their North American debut.

“A song as beloved as ‘Come Together’ can be incredibly difficult to reimagine, because it’s so steeped in culture,” said Brian Monaco, SVP Commercial Music Group, SONY/ATV Music Publishing.  “But the combination of a brand like Harley-Davidson, a cutting-edge band like The Strypes and the significance of the Project RUSHMORE launch demands an iconic song of this caliber. Bringing these elements together makes a powerful statement.”

In the television creative, the rider continues to enjoy “Come Together” until he’s interrupted by an unexpected call from “the boss.” The same technology that brought the call helps the rider ignore it, as the new Harley-Davidson motorcycle rides off into the distance.  

The spot closes with a voiceover cue that underlines the spirit of Project RUSHMORE – “Built By All of Us…For All of Us” before dissolving into the faces of real Harley-Davidson fans and employees who were crowd-sourced to appear in the spot through a social media casting call.  

"The ad shows never-been-done on-motorcycle innovations,” added Richer. “But it also keeps the spirit of our riders at its core.”

A teaser version of the spot ran during the premiere of the new FOX Sports 1 network on August 17.  The :60, as well as a :30 version, is currently running on the FOX family of stations including FX and FOX Sports 1 and 2, and it will also air during the upcoming premiere of the new FXX station. Other highlights of the integrated campaign include:

  • Print advertising will feature Blippar, which instantaneously converts content into an interactive experience that links consumer to an expanded video destination to explain Project RUSHMORE innovations including control, style, feel and infotainment.  
  • H-D.com and digital on-line advertising (OLA) employ the bullet time film technique used in high-tech film production. The technology provides a photo-realistic, slow-motion look and real-time perception that integrates an interactive video overlay that viewers can engage.
  • Project RUSMORE will connect to several iconic autumn media moments, including the launch of FOX Sports 1, the premieres of FX’s Sons of Anarchy and Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, as well as several Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events.
  • PR will bring Project RUSHMORE innovations to life through the first-ever on-motorcycle satellite media tour. Bill Davidson, great-grandson of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson, will conduct live interviews using the exclusive infotainment technology while riding a brand new Project RUSHMORE motorcycles at speed.

“Our new products and media partnerships are writing the new history of Harley-Davidson, and we’re always open to what’s next,” said Richer. “But no matter what, 100 years from now our customers will still lead us.”

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's website at www.h-d.com/rushmore.

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