How Harley-Davidson Advertises: Opening the Throttle on Marketing

How Harley-Davidson Advertises: Opening the Throttle on Marketing

During a Q3-2015 earnings call, Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich stated that the company would increase customer-facing marketing spend by approximately 65% in 2016. Here’s what happened next.

The leader of the pack released several high profile ads and at the start of 2017. But as fewer riders are getting their motors running and getting out on the highway, Levatich acknowledged “we need to do more—particularly in the U.S.—to drive industry growth and assure the vitality of the sport long-term.” Firing all of his guns at once and exploding into space, he added, “Our long-term, 10-year strategy has the headlining goal to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders worldwide.”

He explained that HD’s share of voice has never been as high as its share of market, but with the increase in competitors dollars, now is the time to increase SOV.

Additional Insight – October 2016

National TV Spend: Per iSpot, HD has spent $13.2 million on national TV ads this year. While ads have run consistently all year, buys were weighted more heavily to March and April.

HD released a new national ad – “Live Your Legend: Life Story” – on August 31. It has run on Fox Sports 1 during shows such as “NHRA Drag Racing,” “UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson – Prelims,” “UFC Tonight,” “The Ultimate Fighter” and “UFC Ultimate Insider.”Facebook_Post-1.png

Digital Breakdown:

According to Pathmatics, HD has spent $4.03 million on desktop ads so far this year (396.9 million impressions). As with TV spend, buys were weighted to March/April. The majority of these desktop ads were placed site direct (92%) on publishers such as wunderground.com, cycletrader.com, marvel.com and thesuperficial.com.

HD has also spent $1.8 million on video ads in 2016 (77.9 million impressions). Video ads were also placed almost exclusively site direct (97%) with publishers such as weather.com, espn.com, thechive.com and cbssports.com.

An additional $408,000 has been spent on mobile ads (43.9 million impressions).

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