‘You already own the worlds best motorcyle, now make it a way of life’


Harley Davidson has built their brand for the last 110 years to not only sell motorcycles but also clothing. Through their interactive global community Harley Davidson has successfully created a brand community by utilising the key aspects of participation, trust and commitment.

“Brand communities are specialized and non- geographically bound: they are based on structured sets of social relationships among admirers”(Hameedi et al 2015)

The Harley Davidson website alone provides

  • membership with road maps
  • service providers
  • event information
  • clothing line

Harley Davidson outreach to their customers is huge! 95K on Youtube, 1.4 million on Instagram and 7 million on Facebook. Research shows that through Facebook pages, consumers interact with all three levels of engagement, being affective; expressing enjoyment through the brand community, cognitive: seeking out information about the new products, events and merchandise,  and behavioural: this is when individuals can share, like and interact with the brand through the community forums, notably the Facebook page and the website membership section.

Their advertisement further reinforces the brand community, an individual must see that their own personality and self concept align with the brand personality, this can be done through brand identification, brand trust and brand commitment.


This advertisement highlights freedom, bike riding with friends that progresses to riding a Harley, Harley personifies freedom, a trait in which we all align with.


This advertisement highlights the respect you receive if your apart of the Harley Davidson community…..even sleeping with married women. Harley personifies respect.


This advertisement highlights how people perceive the brand, ‘Hard core, full of bikies’ etc, through using this ad they showcased that they have a diverse range of members.


Through this final example they have highlighted the bombardment of  outside noise, through riding a Harley Davidson bike your breaking free of all that, its you…just you and the bike.

Harley Davidson has built an incredible loyal brand following, the company is globally successful. Diversity is their strength with the love of motorcycles their glue.

Harley Davison, is not just a bike, its a brand community and a way of life.


Laurence Dessart Cleopatra Veloutsou Anna Morgan-Thomas , (2015),”Consumer engagement in online brand communities: a social media perspective”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 24 Iss 1 pp. 28 – 42

Wafa Hammedi Jay Kandampully Ting Ting (Christina) Zhang Lucille Bouquiaux , (2015),”Online customer engagement”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 26 Iss 5 pp. 777 – 806

Noel Albert Dwight Merunka, (2013),”The role of brand love in consumer-brand relationships”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 Iss 3 pp. 258 – 266

William C. Smith and Robert Ingram 2012′ Building a community’ Economic Development Journal, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 41-47.

Reto Felix, (2012),”Brand communities for mainstream brands: the example of the Yamaha R1 brand community”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 29 Iss 3 pp. 225 – 232

Harley Davidson 2016, ‘about company page’ Harley Davidson, viewed 30/4/16 <harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_AU/company.html>

Mux78, 2010, Harley Davidson Commercial, online video, 13th October, Harley Davidson, viewed 30th april 2016 <youtube.com/watch?v=zhk3_DirK9I>

Harley Davidson, Live your legend, online video, 18th April, Harley Davisdon, viewed 30th April 2016 , <www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MdVZ6poN7E>

Webrelate, Harley Davidson Commerical 2012, online video, 18th March, Harley Davidson, viewed 30th April 2016  <www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA1JQicm1_Y>

TelevYzion, Harley Davidson new commerical -NC Video Production, 2011, online video, 14th November, Harley Davidson, viewed 30th april 2016, <www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCAh1Q71XSE>




Snap- Cash: Taking a photo, posting said photo and receiving money. A marketers well rehearsed technique to get you to buy what your latest celeb is looking fab in. Our protagonist in Snap- Cash is Essena O’Neill.

On October 27 2014 Essena O’Neill went public to  over half a million of her followers about her social media presence and how it wasn’t ‘real’, not only did it spark international coverage, other social media ‘celebrities’ such as Kayla Instiles came forward to say they were ‘real’ and do not promote anything they don’t believe in or use themselves.

O’Neill has since re-captioned her Instagram posts to  reflect what was really happening.


O’Neill endorsed countless brands since a young age, with her following to her young fans O’Neill was able to capitalize on her social media presence.

The credibility of O’Neill and other social media influences does not reflect on the brand, this way the brand has no strings attached to the celebrity like it would on a television advertisement, which shows a direct relationship between the brand and the celebrity.

Through the use of target marketing and social marketing marketers  can employ the match up hypothesisThe match up hypothesis consists of the fit between the endorsing celebrity and the brand itself. By using celebrity endorsements brands are also tapping into their ideal target market. O’Neill is an attractive and young girl who can reach a wide audience, this is highlighted through her formal photos.


Marketers use social media as an informal source of communication. Their products look reputable through staged word-of-mouth endorsements.

So how effective is this technique? Celebrity endorsements can polish, reposition and introduce a brand to their audience, celebrities promote positive emotions that then transfer to online shopping, research further shows that social media interactions result in a higher level of intimacy. 

Further research suggests that teens who have an extensive knowledge about technology, influence their family through marketing media.

Marketers use centrality computation to establish who should endorse their products, aka how many people ‘follow’ the celebrity and what projected outcomes will a celebrity endorsement create.

Social media has revamped marketing, it has created gorilla techniques for marketers to grab your attention without you really knowing!

Endorsements are happening, your favourite artist, social media personality and many others are using them.

Welcome to the jungle.


Lein- Fa Lin, Yung-Ming Li, Wen- Hsiang Wu 2015, ‘A social endorsing Mechanism for target advertising diffusion’, Information and Management, vol. 52, no. 8 pp 982-997

Mitchell Hamilton Velitchka D. Kaltcheva Andrew J. Rohm , 2016,”Hashtags and handshakes: consumer motives and platform use in brand-consumer interactions”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 33 Iss 2 pp. 135 – 144

Danielle Fowler Dennis Pitta Richard C. Leventhal , (2013),”Technological advancements and social challenges for one-to-one marketing”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 Iss 6 pp. 509 – 516

Marguerite Moore, (2012),”Interactive media usage among millennial consumers”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 29 Iss 6 pp. 436 – 444

Shiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J  2014 , Consumer Behaviour, 6h edn, Pearson,  Australia

Brian D. Till and Michael Busler 2000 , ‘The Match Up Hypothesis:Physical Attractiveness, Expertise, and the Role of Fit and Brand Attitude, Purchase Intent and Brand Beliefs’ The Journal of Advertising, vol. 29, no.3

Essena O’Neill, (2015)  Image, viewed 23rd April
Essena O’Neill, (2015)  Image, viewed 23rd April


Got your attention haven’t I?

“Advertising is one of the most pervasive channels of communication”

We engage with advertising every day, brands are consistently trying to infiltrate a consumers evoked set. Telling consumers that we NEED  things, creating that tension to drive us to a buy.  How some marketers choose to advertise their products can be ethically wrong.

Sex sells is a common phrase, but does that need to involve sexism?

Sexism in advertising is mainly directed at women. A short Youtube clip highlights the unnecessary use of sexism  through side by side comparisons.


The American Apparel website highlights how marketers approach products differently according to gender.


Noticeable differences between the two images include:

  • Stance: the man is looking confidently and directly at the camera, the female model is looking up at the camera, her position can be suggestive of a submissive pose.
  • Additional clothing: the male is fully clothed with pants and a white singlet underneath, the female model has her breasts exposed and only wearing underwear.
  • The ‘similar’ images on the male version showcases the wearability of the shirt, from side shots to across the shoulder shots. For the female model she pulls the shift at the back and flicks it behind her in a second shot, the further poses showcase her body further.

mcd_1364403877_540x540The media plays a role in the socialisation of adolescents, it has the power the shape the adolescents, their view points and their behaviour.

According to self congruency theory and self identity consumers will buy products that reflect their own self concept. Brands also market their product to have gender traits, so ah  what gender trait are we suggesting Burger King?

Are all marketers basing their belief of human psyche off Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Including sexual intimacy to achieve a sense of belonging to the brand?

What need are they trying to create through sexualising and using sexism in their advertisements?

There are eight ways that women are portrayed in the media:

  1. Glamorous and sophisticated
  2. Sexy
  3. Cute girl next door
  4. Trendy
  5. Cultured nurturer: females who depend on males
  6. Strong woman
  7. Flower vase: concerned about being physically beautiful
  8. Urban sophisticate: leisurely and luxurious lifestyle

Now out of those eight ways, what do you identify with, and how often does the way you see yourself get portrayed in the media that you see?

‘Cause really to sell anything you need to be sexist.




Iris Mayne, (2000),”The inescapable images: gender and advertising”, Equal Opportunities International, Vol. 19 Iss 2/3/4 pp. 56 – 61

Paul Edwin Ketelaar Ruben Konig Edith G. Smit Helge Thorbjørnsen , (2015),”In ads we trust. Religiousness as a predictor of advertising trustworthiness and avoidance”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 32 Iss 3 pp. 190 – 198

Anand Kumar Jaiswal Shruti Gupta , (2015),”The influence of marketing on consumption behavior at the bottom of the pyramid”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 32 Iss 2 pp. 113 – 124

Roland L Leak Omar P Woodham George W Stone , (2015),”Felt discrimination increases offensiveness of stereotyped outgroup depictions”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 32 Iss 1 pp. 26 – 33

Yu Leung Ng Kara Chan , (2014),”Do females in advertisements reflect adolescents’ ideal female images?”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 31 Iss 3 pp. 170 – 176

David A. Booth Richard P.J. Freeman , (2014),”Mind-reading versus neuromarketing: how does a product make an impact on the consumer?”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 31 Iss 3 pp. 177 – 189

Douglas L. Fugate Joanna Phillips, (2010),”Product gender perceptions and antecedents of product gender congruence”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27 Iss 3 pp. 251 – 261

Nelson Barber Tim Dodd Natalia Kolyesnikova, (2009),”Gender differences in information search: implications for retailing”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 26 Iss 6 pp. 415 – 426

Rick Ferguson, (2009),”The consumer inside: at its heart, all marketing speaks to human beings”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 26 Iss 3 pp. 214 – 218

BuzzFeedYellow (2014), If Women’s roles in Ads Were Played By Men, youtuble clip, March 15th, Youtube, viewed 22nd April 2016  < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SrpARP_M0o> 

Burger King (2009) ‘It will blow your mind away’, <www.themost10.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Burger-King-It-will-Blow-Your-Mind-Away.jpg?354d8b> Viewed 22nd April 2016.

Madison Avenue Year, (2009)  Image, viewed 22nd April 2016 <www.campaignbrief.com/2009/04/sexist-campaign-slammed-by-wom.html>

American Apparel, Image, viewed 22nd April 2016 <http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/now-swedes-slams-sexist-american-apparel#.lgPg9rnWzQ >

Note: You can read the models story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11018413/Burger-King-Raped-my-face-claims-model-on-angry-Youtube-video.html


“Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3, and 5. You could try Sears”.

The shopping experience can either be one of complete satisfaction, or one that leaves you dying to have a coffee, get your trackies on and curl up and sob. It’s all down to the customer experience and how they make you feel.

The best experience is when you know you are being told the truth. At least then you might leave with something that you feel looks good. Piper Lane in Miranda is where my best experience was, personally I’m not a big shopper, and I can’t spend hours looking through shops. I like to get in and get out, which makes my decision process pretty quick, if I don’t like it straight away I will not buy it. The customer service at Piper Lane was brilliant. She told me it looked crap. Have you ever had the thought that when you see something it will look amazing on? But then you put it on and you know deep down you look like a potato, a complete and utter potato. Nothing I repeat NOTHING is worse than being coaxed to come out of the dressing room to see a woman screaming “OMG that looks totally amazing on you! The best I have ever seen it!” when you know it looks beyond repulsive and you have heard that being exclaimed a gazillion times throughout looking through the store.

This fortunately didn’t happen at Piper Lane, the sales assistant straight away told me “hmmm no, I don’t like that colour or shape on you. Give me a minute I will find something else” straight away I felt like she actually cared about how I looked and not what she could get me to buy. Piper Lane also were holding a sale, their prices were ridiculously reduced and the store was busy, yet the sales assistant still looked through the racks until she found something that suited me and BONUS round was cheaper!

By making me feel like she cared about how I looked which I know is a tactic to sell more clothes, but in such a sincere way, I did not feel self conscious in front of her, I trusted what she brought out and her opinion, and by her not going for the expensive clothes, it allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience of shopping at Piper Lane, I was excited to wear the dress I brought. That’s sales(wo)manship.


source: Mean Girls, 2004, Mark Waters