Starting off as a motorcycle meeting at Lake Faak in Austria in 1998, the Harley Davidson anniversary event, later renamed as the European Bike Week, has grown over the years to become the biggest rocker and biker event. Performing at the event would be a dream come true for a rock musician and Harley Davidson is making that dream a reality for the one band that wins its signature annual rock music festival - Harley Rock Riders.
Now in its fourth season, the Harley Rock Riders is themed ‘Freedom’ as a celebration of 110 years of existence. This season will see some of India’s rock bands like The Lightyears Explode, Blek, Digital Suicide, The Incredible Mindfunk and The Circus performing in rock concerts at major cities including Pune and Kochi.
Find your Freedom
This time, HRR is also giving aspiring rock musicians a chance to compete through the ‘Find your Freedom’ contest on Facebook. The iconic bike brand has created a Facebook app where new brands can upload music that signifies their sense of freedom, and stand the chance to take the center stage at the European Bike Week 2014.
Find your Freedom Facebook contest will have 3 best entries chosen on the basis of a combination of popularity i.e. number of votes and a jury vote, where the jury is made of Luke Kenny (musician, actor, film maker), Lalitha Suhasini (Editor, Rolling Stone) and Sid Coutto (Musician).
Apart from being awarded as the Harley-Davidson band of the year, the winner will also get to play at 3 Harley milestone events during the year 2014.
The Facebook app is mainly divided into 3 major functions: Enter the first half to submit your entry, View the gallery to see other entries and join us enables you to download exclusive passes for the concert.
Submitting an entry has been explained in detail with both audio and video options available. You need to describe your inspiration behind the song while giving the band and song name. The app has links to the Freedom gallery, more about HRR season IV, prizes, video messages from each of the judges and the T&Cs of the contest.
The Freedom gallery houses all the entries in video and audio format, which can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. You can also vote for the entries through the vote button. The audio files have been embedded from Soundcloud while the videos from YouTube.
Building a community for the long term
Harley Davidson is a brand that does not need to sell its bikes. Most boys grow up nurturing dreams of owning a Harley one day. The iconic bike brand just needs to create associative experiences with Harley Davidson, which is what the Harley Rock Riders is set out to do. Rock music, biking and freedom is what the brand stands for and what this campaign is aimed at strengthening.
The idea of a Facebook hunt that could fulfill one aspiring rock band’s lifelong mission to perform at the European Bike Week is a smart community building exercise on Facebook. One that will help build a relevant community of fans that believe in the brand vision.
The Facebook app for the ‘Find your Freedom’ contest, although designed well around the theme, should have been tested prior to deployment. There is a glitch in the app during viewing the gallery submissions and judges speak; these videos did not load while browsing on Firefox; moreover I could only hear the soundcloud entries but couldn’t vote for them. Incidentally, the app worked fine in Google Chrome and IE.
With this campaign, Harley Davidson India succeeds in strengthening its existing brand voice. What are your thoughts?