Ducati: Ads That Make You Go Hmm…

10/12/2011 @ 9:14 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

UPDATE: Ducati North America sent me a note explaining that these ads were not a part of corporate-initiated ad campaign. Their best guess is that they are spec-creative, or something done by the company’s Ecuadorian distributor.

Talking in generalities, Ducati is one of the better companies in the motorcycle industry when it comes to handling its market communications, and in an industry that’s generally abysmal at making creative advertisements, you can make of that praise as you will. Of course every now and then Bologna produces a dud campaign, and well…through each others’ failures, we can hopefully make progress. It’s not that the concept being used here is a bad one, it’s just not readily apparent (it’s also averaging below a 2.5/10 rating on Ads of the World right now).

Trying to make a statement about how owning a Ducati motorcycle is as fantastic of an accomplishment as becoming invisible, turning into other objects, walking through walls, and levitating, we’re not sure that the comparison, though clever, is readily apparent when these photos stand on their own on a page. Better pitched in the idea room than executed on the paper, after the third advertisement or so it finally hits you (the walking through walls one was the “ahh-ha!” moment for us). But as for a clearly communicated message, there is a bit left wanting here from Ducati and its ad agency, The Grey Group…that and the teapot thing is just damn silly. More examples after the jump.

Source: Ads of the World via Bikes in the Fast Lane

  • John Magnum

    Luigi is a cock (Luigi’s head representative of that of a knob on a penis) and he owns a Ducati.

    Adds should make you feel good and inspire you……then a bond and then a desire to want.

    This add campain makes me hate vain italians who think they can do the impossible…..no bond, no conection, i will look the other way.

    Wake up Ducati. Put a model with big tits on your product and let it sell itself!

  • froryde

    “Fabrizio has a Harley Davidson. And he also has a Ducati Diavel.”

  • Ades

    “Filippo can turn into any object……………….. except for a Ducati Desmocedici that can win a race……”

    “Vittorio can walk through walls…………………..but not through a cloud of ‘front end’ issues……..”

  • Ades

    Also, the “Vincenzo” ad probably should have his name substituted for Valentino!!!!!

    ha ha…..poor Ducati.

  • Bjorn

    Filippo can turn into any thing except a corner at race pace.

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  • RJ

    … But can they turn a dud into a race winner?

  • buddydog

    It’s advertising!… It’s not about if you like it or not…. it’s about if you talk about it. By you all commenting on it now it has already served it’s purpose. Love it or hate it…. you can’t please everyone. It’s better to be talked about… than not at all.

  • Other Sean

    Gianmarco looks more like a BMW kind of guy. Pipe and slippers…

    I agree these are silly and don’t seem to fit, but are they actually being used in the North American Market? I haven’t seen one. I’d say maybe they’re meant for the Italian market, but then why are they in English? Yes, a baffling concept to be sure.

  • Sloan

    “Vinny can fix anything on 2 wheels… Which is good because he owns a Ducati.”

  • Matt

    I like the ads but don’t think it really speaks to the Ducati market. Maybe they are intended to appeal to a new base?

  • 76

    Sorry but this seems to me the work of a female creative director… I wonder what the bill for this one was? Unless its going after 30 something women, a big fat fail

  • mxs

    They should keep the money to build a better performing bike (since they already have the most expensive rider and it has not helped much so far …).

  • TonyS

    Valentino used to win races. And now he rides a Ducati.

  • Other Sean

    Carlos Checa wins a world championship. And he rides a Ducati.

    Take that, haters!

  • TonyS

    Max Biaggi is a an asshole. And he rides an Aprilia.

  • Bjorn

    @76: Nice long bow there mate. If they were appealing to 30 something women, just off the top of my head of course, they’d show 30 something women in the ads or perhaps the benefits a 30 something woman would derive from owning a Ducati.

    Don’t get me wrong; I love Ducati, but this ad campaign is deserving of ridicule (at least in the Australian and US markets, even if it is not aimed at us).

    Casey can win a second world championship, on a Honda.

  • Just got a note from Ducati North America about the ads. DNA is saying this definitely isn’t a corporate-initiated campaign, and that their best guess is that it’s the local distributor in Ecuador that commissioned the ads, or it’s a spec ad from the agency.

  • rebecca

    it’s a case where a weak idea went too far. Perhaps their marketing people were uninspired. The ad campaign is a bit of a stretch for its audience. Seems like something alcohol companies would put out. The illustration is really nice well at least.

  • @Other Sean: “Carlos Checa wins a world championship. And he rides a Ducati.

    Take that, haters!”

    I completely agree. Checa is a legend