Zulu Alpha Kilo

Harley-Davidson Canada
"Common Ground"

Client: Harley-Davidson Canada
Product: Harley-Davidson
Title: Common Ground
Media: TV, Online, OOH
Country: Canada
Date Of Campaign: June 5th, 2017

Background: A mature brand, Harley has been on a mission to build its rider base and ensure a strong customer pipeline for growth. But while the Canadian riding community admired Harley’s iconic history, they weren’t riding its bikes. Simply put, Harley was seen as a brand for white men over 50 and needed to address this misperception and tackle the diversity issue. Diversity is a cornerstone for Canada, with the highest foreign-born population among the G8 countries and Canadians reporting 200+ ethnic origins. Harley’s 100th year in Canada presented a celebratory milestone that could showcase a brand and rider base as varied as our country. We needed to create a breakthrough program to drive exposure and provoke a more diverse rider mix to consider Harley-Davidson, while staying top of mind with Harley’s core riders.

Idea: Diversity naturally highlights differences – in opinions, interests, values – and we needed to unify our audience to succeed. We knew that no matter the background of the rider, riding fuels a sense of discovery. And that the diversity of people and landscape in one of the most multicultural nations and second-largest country in the world makes Canada an ideal platform for real discovery. So, we created the world’s first “foreign exchange for bikers”. We could bring the world to Canada – and with a Harley and an open road, we could open minds.We created a 12-part online documentary series, Common Ground, that was literally a foreign exchange of bikers. We invited a Harley rider each from New Zealand, Mexico and India to Canada, and paired them with a rider they’d be meeting for the first time from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Alberta. A documentary film crew followed each pair as they ventured on a unique six-day journey across Canada, visiting communities, meeting people and taming diverse landscapes. Starting as strangers, they forged bonds through the common ground that connects them: riding.Each of the rides was promoted through short and long-form content, shared on social platforms by the riders and the Harley brand. Instream social videos along with canvasing and Wild Postings also helped drive campaign awareness. Common Ground and its supporting content were housed within the Harley-Davidson website, while CRM initiatives nurtured lead harvesting to help retarget active followers.

Results: Running from June to September, the campaign achieved:• Over 47MM impressions, surpassing our goal by 235%• Over 8.7MM views, surpassing our goal by 218% • Over 415,000 engagements In 2017, market share rose by 1.9% against our nearest competitor, despite the industry being down 3.8% overall.The campaign quickly gathered mainstream media interest, culminating in Discovery Canada showcasing the Common Ground series in a one-hour primetime show that drew over 475,000 viewers- more than double the average views of a Toronto Raptors basketball game! Common Ground earned national and international press, including from CBC, CTV, National Post and Edmonton Journal. Fast Company described it as “content that people actually want to watch”.AdWeek held up Common Ground at its Arc Awards recognizing the Best Brand Storytelling of 2017.

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