Ads are good

Sportster 883 ad from 1990

I always wanted a Sportster and through the 80’s that was it. There were ads in the magazines, an occasional commercial on regular TV and the billboard here and there. It was visible and it was a constant reminder of what I wanted, what we all wanted.

Scoot the clock ahead two decades and where do you see motorcycle ads, TV commercials and billboards about motorcycles let alone Harley Davidson? No where. What happened? Did the world of media and those powers that be decide that the general public doesn’t need to see anything relating to motorcycles in print or on video through mass media? Did the manufacturers suddenly decide that advertising dollars are better spent on their car payments and mortgages? Of all companies, Harley Davidson, who are the undisputed kings of marketing, have failed to keep/put motorcycles in the eye/mind of the buying public through public advertisements, Television and print media. Failed! Plain and simple.

Before you hold up the latest issue of HOG Magazine, Rider Magazine, American Iron and the many other Motorcycle Publications, know that I am excluding these publications from consideration. Let’s face it, the people who read these publications most likely already own a motorcycle. It’s the People Magazines, GQ’s, Cosmopolitan’s. National Geographic, a world magazine, no motorcycle ads. Why? These are the people that should see these ads if the motorcycle industry is to improve.

I have two Better Homes and Garden magazines in my bathroom, since 2014. Not one motorcycle ad and again I ask, why not? These are the people who need that type of exposure to our passion, to our culture. Tell me, what kid wouldn’t want to point at some motorcycle going down the road and say to his friends “There goes my mom”.

The ad shown above nearly grabbed me just after I turned 30. The 1990 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 with the EVO engine. The Flagship motorcycle of Harley like it or not, in production for 61 years. Four years later, I would own one of these and it was the most fun thing I’ve ever ridden. This ad had me salivating and I bet it would do the same to any young guy or gal looking for a new passion or sport to get into. Or for the mom or dad looking to get out of the house and away from the kids.

Come on Harley Davidson….. show us your ads.

2 thoughts on “Ads are good

  1. I think you’re a victim of your own ideas. Harley has been advertising,just not to you. They’ve been following the current trend of sponsoring events such as X games. I’ve seen the ads on tv. They’re shooting at the younger generation. Sponsoring X games, bicycle racing and even some auto racing. I’ve seen the ads on a few off beat channels but they’re few and far between. Instead they’re trying to get the young(YouTube watching) audience I believe.
    Why? Hopefully to correct the error of ignoring gen X and creating a desire early. Every thing they are doing lately seems to point to attracting a younger clientele, which hopefully will turn the tide. I just how they aren’t aiming too young,but it’s better than ignoring a whole generation.


    1. I figured and understand that is what motorcycle companies like Harley would do. I applaud that BUT, they are absent from mainstream media. Gen X, for all they might be worth, may not be their buying public. The ones who are not seeing these ads, these commercials, these promotions, just might be the ones watching “This is Us” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, we need their attention too. Thanks for commenting, I greatly appreciate it!! Now get out there and ride….. when it warms up a little and I’m disappointed you aren’t riding for the Motorcycle Men in the MPC.


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