Harley-Davidson Executes a Historic Product Reveal
Harley-Davidson has hit countless milestones in its 113-year history, but its 2016 Annual Dealer Meeting was one for the books. The unveiling of the new V-Twin engine—only the ninth engine introduced in the company’s lengthy history—would impact the brand, its dealers and its customers. The high-stakes scenario prompted Harley to transform the event into an audiovisual presentation worthy of a historic product reveal. And the strategy paid dividends, generating an increase in test rides, touring sales and gains in market share, all within the ultra competitive U.S. market.
The experience kicked off in a replica work environment of the Harley-Davidson Product Design Center, where four actual designers worked on everything from sketching cruiser bikes to refining the design of the brand’s new leather jacket. Next, at the Worldwide General Session, attendees watched as one of the Boston Convention Center’s 180-foot by 60-foot windows was transformed into a projection screen that played brand-centric animations and videos.
When the time came for the big reveal, three engines were raised on custom-built elevators that offered a rotating view of the V-Twins, accompanied by fog, dramatic lighting and the sound of the new engine revving away. The event wrapped with an epic sendoff that had Harley designers driving off stage on the brand’s full portfolio of bikes—and redefining “joy ride.”