Back in ’94 when Brian Cox was telling us “Things Can Only Get Better“, Harley Davidson was exploring new ground in audio branding. The Hog creator was embarking on a fruitless legal adventure. You see Harley Davidson wanted to cement its place in sonic branding by trademarking what it considered to be the unique “chug” of its V-twin engine. Problem was there were quite a few other manufacturers of V-twin motorbikes who reckoned the Harley “chug” just wasn’t unique. In the end Harley gave up paying the trademark lawyers after 6 years and went back to focusing on making bikes.
Fast forward to Christmas 2013, Brian Cox is now a brainy scientist bloke on the telly and Harley have finally worked out how it can own the “chug” in the minds of the public – creativity. Let’s not get carried away here. There is nothing new about using engines to create soundtracks, Mercedes recently did it in their much lauded Tinie Tempah TV ad. What I like about this is that it works so well for the brand, it is simple, loud and proud. A big bloke on a big bike making a big noise, job done. Merry Christmas Harley.
P.S. I’m not convinced he’s actually playing the tune but hey its Christmas and I’m not going to tell the kids Santa isn’t real.