Here’s an interesting one for you marketing mavens. Harley-Davidson has tapped Marissa Miller to help promote its Nightster series of motorcycle, which isn’t really news. After all this isn’t the first time that a blonde beauty and a motorcycle have been paired in marketing photoshoot, and it also isn’t the first time that Miller has posed for the Milwaukee brand: she was also the company’s spokesperson for Harley’s “Military Appreciation Month” campaign.

The real interesting aspect of this campaign is the fact that Miller comes from a family of motorcyclists, and is a Harley-Davidson rider herself. While some chalk this up to clever publicity statements, it could be a sign there’s some blood still pumping in the Milwaukee marketing department afterall. What better way is there to get women to enter a male dominated industry than with an uber-feminine sex symbol who still manages to maintain all that sex appeal while riding on one of the most recognizable symbols of our industry? Photos from the shoot, and a behind the scenes video after the jump.

Kudos Harley-Davidson…now don’t mess it up.

Source: Top Speed

  • doug

    Nice! Finally H-D does it right… Almost makes me want to go buy one so I can feel closer to Marrissa

  • Had it with HD

    More Harley Davidson stupid advertising. Why can’t HD just make a decent motorcycle and skip all the outlaw bullshit. I am so sick of loud harley davidson motorcycles and the morons who dress like the Village People who ride them just to show off there loud exhaust and do stupid shit like this commercial.

  • Sean Mitchell

    This is marketing to men, not women. And she could be strattling a toaster and we’d be saying “Kudos, Kitchenaid!”

    Is it hot? Yes. Is it genius marketing? No.

  • Vic

    There is not a commercial made that would get me interested in buying a Harley. Harley Davidson should be spending money trying to improve there aging line of bikes instead of making commercials.

  • johnrdupree

    Who the hell is Marissa Miller and why should any of us care if she’s in a Harley ad? Their marketing department is missing the boat (still) in that bike ads should be about bikes, not some pseudo-celebrity tart.

  • Ry_Trapp0

    Say what you want, but I’m calling you a homosexual if you don’t like this ad. Call me immature or what have you, but, hey, it’s primal instinct to find this attractive! Props to H-D, both your advertising and your bikes!!!

  • Hahahaha, ohh you guys crack me up. This is as simple as marketing can get, but boy, oh boy, do i like it! ;)

  • only problem is… what bike?!

  • Ray

    I suddenly feel the need to grab a handful of…wait for it…throttle.

    Nice job, Harley. Finally an ad campaign I’d like to get behind.

  • Sean Mitchell

    Also, she’s much too cosmopolitan for most HD guys. Not enough junk in the trunk.

  • wayne

    For the love of God, would someone please buy that girl a decent meal? And guess what: it’s STILL a Harley.

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  • Doctor Jelly

    Heh, they did the burnout just off the pavement edge in the sandy dirt to get it to break loose…

  • @johnrdupree: Marissa Miller is the hot new thing in the modeling world. She was on the cover of Sport Illustrated’s Swim Suit Edition, and she is a Victoria Secret Angel

    Yes, this is the same vein of “pretty girl on a bike” marketing, but the kicker is Miller actually rides. No one in the industry has really cracked how to bring the ladies into the industry in a meaningful way, and honestly it’s because no one has really made a concerted effort to appeal to them in a way that resonates with that demographic of buyer. Having someone like Marissa Miller be a spokesperson for Harley-Davidson could bridge the gap needed to breakdown the stereotypes of what a lady biker is (over-masculine), and show women that they can remain feminine and attractive while being on two wheels.

    Over course it’s entirely possible HD marketing misses the opportunity they have here, uses this add like any-other pin-up, and continues it’s death spiral into the lower rings of hell…it really could go either way.

  • Warren

    I am not even interested in watching the useless ad. There is nothing in the HD line of lead sleds that would interest me. I am interested in motorcycles company’s that are on the leading edge of technology not old school out dated motorcycles with stupid names.

  • bob

    @ Doctor Jelly: Yeah! I was thinking “photoshop” when I saw that photo too! Funny how she is EFFORTLESSLY holding that bike back…. And I mean EFFORTLESSLY! It doesn’t even look like her hand is actuating the brake…. oh but “she rides”……. puh-leeze. Just one more fail for HD…..

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  • Willie

    Rather pathetic isn’t it . . . I mean the level of desperation ? BTW what happened to the KKR
    story ? You could probably pick up close to $10/share selling the stock here. But use a stop above the recent highs.

    And I am sorry Jensen, but the “opportunity” Marissa ! brings to this eludes me.

    Weeks on now from the initial post on this I still see no change in trend.

    Again, its over.


  • I haven’t heard anything more on KKR, there’d obviously be a post if I did.

    The opportunity I see here is that 50% of the American population is automatically routed out of being the target audience for motorcycle ads. If OEM’s want to get women on bikes, they need to effectively communicate to women (not just women riders) about motorcycling, and start addressing the reason women in general don’t ride.

    If a company can show women that they can retain their femininity and still ride a motorcycle, they’ll be taking one step closer to capturing that market. My point in this article was that Marissa Miller could be that bridge to that market, since she already hocks lady undergarments, and rides herself. The bonus too is that an ad campaign with her wouldn’t alienate the male market in the process, which is the trap that wait for marketers with this goal.

    But yeah, does Harley-Davidson see it that way? I dunno, but they’ve read this post, and the choice is there’s.

  • unclewill

    Excuse me while I get “Harley Davidson” tatooed on my face…

  • Willie

    I applaud your optimism and willingness to find a solution. History does not give much support however to the notion that women will take to motorcycling in any significant numbers. Haven’t scooter sales to this segment also disappointed ? So “50% of the American population” represents a base beyond real prospects.

    I could be persuaded though that an expanded campaign (and I mean a large budget) featuring “regular” Harley gals mixing it up with celebrities might have potential. That complemented by dealer supported “Lady’s Ride” events, etc. could create something that might catch fire in specific markets. Seems like a long term investment.

    Unfortunately the headwinds of Global economic weakness, a highly competitive leisure market and the natural life cycle (brand and demographic) seem most daunting.

    A tough nut, indeed.

  • A kid can dream right Willie?

  • Dotty Montine

    Harley marketing mistakes is a group project for my marketing course.This ad simply proves my point that HD has never attempted to gain a female client bass. If I were a lesbian
    I may think this ad was aimed at me but real women do not consider super models as real people.

    Although sex sells, HD has alienated average American females by sprawling women out all
    over their bikes and then suggesting that the ad was for them. A little suggestion, put some really hot hunk in the Bitches Seat with his flesh glistening in the sun. That would be an ad for us ladies. It worked for Coca-Cola.

  • Ysabeau

    I am no lesbian, but call me vain, because I found this all exremely appealing ^^’

  • Bonnie Lou Frenchman’s

    Hey ck out the old School motorcycles company Web site tell them Bonnie recommend you

  • Bonnie Lou French

    I agree with some of your words they should have a man or woman be the ambassador it should be a person that can ride any mc model under your ass and u should no the history of all bikes 1988 i road my 1947 in to apply at the HD Motor company I was hired on the spot there was 6500 employees and maybe 100 mc Riders and I was the only female the rest of the employees never even set on a mc and that’s who you want build your bike lol I applyed and hire on there because I had a mission 1985 I open a English & Harleyshop See Harley never listen to the customer or the employee they build there bikes by market that hasn’t road yet my mission was to keep the history for all with the women I ask the company to let work the fleet truck at all events and 40 years of riding I can ride any mc woman seem that 120 poundpound women then men would buy and women would fiqure they could ride one of them You no the thing piss me off is got about women are inducted for leadership ambassador and starting clubs and claims to be like the pioneer Women according to dates of there activies we had same as I do to day but I founded the inside mc club for employee s only so we could all the events and I was in charge of all events mc related, And sold women men the mc for 6 years I also lead 30 employees to westernville Ohio to famoes musum and donated 5000 from York HD Motor company which hangs there today Im prou of the Women & men the from 1988 to 94 we were part of that history we work 7 days a week work event on our time,we road company bikes to advertising i was the only woman I was proud to do it And if is close to be a pioneer women I’ve been old school 1988 to presentpresent So ladies I hope meet you one and hats off the factory workers we made history we no we should be hanging in musems if they would have listen to there dedicated employee s now it won’t be long they robots and no Riders in the parking lot that says alot

    they were doing the same thing I was doing I was building this and sill riding my 47 and FLHTC the point is a lot of back was not esure they handle a big bike a Willie new that and the dresser were built for the riders then the pioneer were of a sudden used so see all the army ,mc clubs, were a big part of loyality but ofcouse then came the( mmc) modified motorcycle club,which are Hog chapter And then work on girls and here to tell ya I whent the company And if they got women or a man they anit going to no good like the founders loyal honest and not Monday read your history big Daddy Davidson it would go down like this

    is 2016