Harley-Davidson’s reputation as the essential rebel accessory takes
centre stage in the first European advertising from Partners BDDH since
winning the business.
The work will appear in style and bike magazines from March and targets
people who have always wanted a Harley but have sidelined the dream for
practical purchases such as PEPs and cars.
The press campaign focuses on a series of characters who regret their
sensible lives as a warning to others not to do the same. In the first
execution, a portrait of an old man is shown next to a list of his
thoughts on what he would do if he lived his life over again. He
concludes: ’I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax ...
be sillier ... eat more ice-cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.’
A second ad features a small boy next to the text: ’A job, a career, a
tumble dryer, a dishwasher. A life time’s subscription to a health
Have you realised all your childhood dreams?’
The ads appear in Harley’s famous orange, black and white colours and
carry the endline: ’Call 0345-883 1340. Alternatively, you could wait
until tomorrow.’ They were written and art directed by Gary Robinson and
Owen Lee, with photography by Malcolm Venville.
The campaign will run across Europe as well in UK magazines such as
Esquire and GQ.
It is being rolled out with the help of BDDH’s European network partner,
Elan, with media through CIA Medianetwork.
BDDH’s board account director on the business, Robert Smith, commented:
’Deep down, everyone wants a Harley. The trouble is, most people cannot
justify it as a priority in purely rational terms. These ads look the
reader in the eye and say, ’Live for today.’’
BDDH won the Harley account in April 1997 following the bike company’s
appointment of a first European marketing director. This is the only
time the brand has run a single campaign across Europe.