It’s been a while since I had a genuine belly laugh from a supposedly-comical brand marketing video. But Harley-Davidson’s “e-bike guru” did just that as it poked and prodded its way through cycling culture stereotypes on its way to landing a surprisingly relatable message about simply enjoying riding.
Part of that success might be because it wasn’t really a Harley-Davidson production, but rather came to us via Serial 1, an H-D spinoff company that builds premium electric bicycles.
If Harley is a hundred year old, slow-moving corporate machine, then Serial 1 is its spunky, nimble startup love child. No chrome, no throttles, just electric motor-assisted pedaling.
Serial 1 teamed up with Allies & Co and Bash, a production and film team, to create the “eBike Guru”, a comical short that explores how a new e-bike owner might be tempted to fall into the trap of stereotypical cycling culture.
The short follows Greg as he receives a new e-bike and quickly turns into a cycling snob, much to the ire of his exasperated wife Kathy.
Once Kathy has enough of Greg’s antics, she calls the e-bike’s help line and is put through to a special line for the “eBike Guru” to solve Greg’s problem.
I won’t give anything away. The video is only 8 minutes long and is worth a watch. Let’s be real – it’s Sunday and you’re not doing anything better.
Serial 1 definitely came out of left field when it launched barely a year ago.
Brand Manager for Serial Aaron Frank explained how the company’s status as outsiders in the industry meant that they had to look for clever ways to get their message out.
“The eBike market is crowded and chaotic, and a content piece like this is one way to stand out. We wanted to have a little fun and to take advantage of our status as outsiders in the cycling industry to make some humorous content that could only come from Serial 1. At the same time, many of our mainstream customers are not cyclists and don’t understand that riding a bike isn’t all about suffering. eBikes are the best way to be active, have fun, and explore your world on two wheels.”
It’s not the first time Serial 1 has had a bit of fun in front of the camera.
A few weeks ago the brand created a one-off e-bike that looked strikingly similar to the BMX bike from a certain hit Steven Spielberg classic. The beautiful e-bike creation was auctioned off for charity, but not before Serial 1 had the chance to film an epic video with it.
(Again, we’re talking less than 90 seconds here. Worth it.)
It may not be conventional, but it’s working.
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