Cannes Lions

Common Ground Documentary


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Common Ground is a foreign exchange for Harley drivers to come here and ride in Canada, brought to life through an online documentary series.

Our idea was to challenge the perceptions and myths of riding and what it meant to be a Harley rider from any part of the world. Diversity naturally highlights differences – in opinions, interests, values – and we needed to unify our audience to succeed. We knew that no matter the age or background of the rider, riding can fuel a sense of discovery. And that the diversity of people and landscape across the nation made Canada an ideal platform for real discovery. We could bring the world to Canada – and with a Harley and an open road, we could open minds.


Shot over the summer as a 12-part online series, the campaign had gathered so much mainstream media interest, that the Discovery Channel showcased Common Ground in a one-hour show during primetime on September 16th. The TV footage was comprised of video that was used in the webisodes.

In a carefully coordinated effort, pre-promotional videos aired in August across national TV stations including Discovery Canada, while Discovery GO, their online content channel, promoted short and long-form teasers leading up to the premier. In addition, the riders, Harley and Harley’s vast dealer network shared teasers and details of the show on social their platforms to add to the hype.

On the day of the premier, Discovery touted the day as “Harley-Davidson Day.” And for six hours leading up to the airing, they ran a Harley and the Davidson’s marathon programming that included multiple interstitials to tease the show and drive tune-in messaging.


Over 475,000 Canadians tuned into the weekend airing, exceeding coveted live sports programming like Toronto FC which had generated 93,000 views on similar networks in 20171.

A live-synced Instagram Story shared behind-the-scenes content resulting in over 757,000 impressions, with a unique reach of over 576,000 viewers.

After sharing collateral and spreading the word at a grassroots level to shoppers in-store and online, numerous Harley Dealers hosted viewing parties with their VIP customers to support the documentary.

Common Ground earned national and international press:

-Fast Company described it as “content that people actually want to watch”.

-AdWeek held up Common Ground at its Arc Awards recognizing the Best Brand Storytelling of 2017.

-Extensive national coverage included CBC, CTV, National Post and Edmonton Journal.

In the months following, Harley’s market share rose by 1.9% against our nearest competitor, despite the industry being down 3.8% overall.

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