L/C Targets Thrill Seekers in Ads for Buell Blast

Laughlin/Constable will target young thrill-seekers who haven’t yet added fast motorcycles to their trick list in a campaign for a new model from Harley-Davidson’s Buell Motorcycles.
Print ads for the Buell Blast break in May issues of lifestyle magazines including Rolling Stone and Spin, and enthusiast periodicals such as Surfer and Powder, said Paul Barthelemy, an account supervisor at the Milwaukee agency.
The Blast is an entry-level sport bike designed to be quick and nimble with an engine of just one cylinder and about half the size of the standard Buell bike. “It’s very much geared to the person who’s looking to get into motorcycling,” Barthelemy said.
While Buell will have some presence in motorcycle enthusiast magazines, the “interceptor” strategy is intended to attract so-called “experiencers”–guys who like to push the limits–Barthelemy said.
One print execution features the movie marquee of an old-style porno house, with the listed feature “Twist my throttle, starring Buell Blast.” The headline “Leave your inhibitions behind” sits above copy reading, “Come on. You know you want it,” and a tagline, “Buell Blast. Get on. Get off.”
“It’s a little naughty, a little dangerous,” Barthelemy said. “We learned the target likes sexual innuendoes.”
Another print ad shows an espresso maker with a strength dial showing one cup … two cups … and a rendering of the Blast for full strength.
The print campaign is complemented by dealer offerings intended to get the Buell name in front of the target at a grassroots level. Matchbooks with a picture of the bike and the phrase “Fire one up” will be distributed at bars, as will coasters and key chains.
“We want to reach [the target] in their world, where they’re out drinking and smoking,” Barthelemy said.
Spending was not disclosed, but the effort is expected to be higher than the outlay in past years, which would put it in the area of $1-3 million. K