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Victory Takes Testimonial Tack

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Victory Motorcycles plays on its name with stories of personal triumphs in a new campaign from Martin/Williams Advertising.

Six print executions break in March issues of motorcycle- enthusiast magazines with the tagline, "That is my Victory."

The testimonials in the ads focus on Victory riders, who tell what their motorcycles mean to them, said Mark Jenson, vice president and management supervisor at the Minneapolis shop.

"We wanted to showcase Victory owners to build credibility [for] the brand," Jenson said.

One ad tells the tale of a woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and could no longer ride on the back of her husband's Victory motorcycle. Consequently, the couple had a custom-made sidecar built for the bike. "I can feel the wind in my face again," the woman writes in a letter placed on the side of the ad. A photo of the motorcycle and a photo of the woman with her husband are also in the ad.

Another ad shows a letter from a man writing about his American-born parents who were placed in an internment camp during World War II. His father of Japanese descent joined the U.S. Army to prove his American loyalty. He always loved riding a scooter, the man recalls in his letter. "I ride my V92C as a testament to his true American spirit of determination and freedom," the man writes.

"The letters have a gritty feel and are roughly written" to lend a note of authenticity to the campaign, Jenson said.

The effort for the Plymouth, Minn., company attempts to make Victory stand out from competitors such as Harley-Davidson and Honda, Jenson said.

Victory, the motorcycle division of Polaris Corp., is spending about $1 million promoting its motorcycles this year, Jenson said.

M/W won the Victory Motorcycles account in December 1999. Associates & Stahl in Minneapolis previously handled the business.

Last September, M/W purchased Associates & Stahl and now handles advertising for Polaris All Terrain Vehicles, which Stahl had retained. M/W also handles Polaris snowmobiles and personal watercraft.