This weekend is a pretty special time for Canadians. Not only is it the official BBQ, beer and firework laden Canada Day long weekend, it’s the 150th one. In Canada’s 150th year as a nation, it comes as no surprise that virtually every Canadian brand is using the theme in their advertising. While some opt for red and white, maple-leaf speckled merchandise, others are taking a more contemplative approach to the celebration. One brand doing this in a really unique way is Harley Davidson.
The 100-year old motorcycle company has launched a campaign, led by Toronto based creative agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, that centres around a series of short documentaries intended to showcase the diversity of Canada today. Each episode follows a Harley Davidson rider from a different country and a Canadian biker host. Together they explore a region of Canada, checking out the natural beauty, local tradition, and the region’s unique biker scene.
This is an example of branded content working perfectly for its intended market. While the 15 minute segments seem slow moving and drawn out to a non-biker audience, anyone already invested in the brand and its culture is going to get a huge kick out of a look inside Ottawa’s biker church and the Quebecois custom bike shop. It does a great job at engaging with the biker community specifically while seamlessly blending in elements of Canadian heritage in a not-so-in-your-face way. Harley Davidson knows that it doesn’t need to over-sell itself after 100 years of successful business. What it’s doing instead is creating content for the community that already supports the brand.