Cannes Lions

Harley-Davidson Sportster S EMEA Launch 2021


Presentation Image
Case Film






From 25 July to 6 August, Harley-Davidson hosted the EMEA launch event for the introduction of the all-new Sportster S.

During the first week, the aim was to maximize the reach of media coverage by journalists. Through the intense brand experience, the message "From Evolution to Revolution" was to be internalized and transmitted positively into the world. The message was conveyed in a very emotional context through the Riding Experience in the appropriate brand environment.

The second week was dedicated to the dealers. The goal was to get them excited about the bike and motivate them to sell it.

We staged this experience in a place where the spirit of positive change was already tangible. In the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany the brand experience was able to unfold its positive energy through a customized pop-up hotel.


We staged this experience in a place where the spirit of positive change was already tangible. At UNESCO World Heritage Site Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany, the brand experience was able to unfold its positive energy through a customized pop-up hotel.

The hotel FRIENDS embraced the transformation idea, met the infrastructural requirements and offered best conditions.

Set construction and media play were at any time completely in the sense of H-D. The forecourt was transformed into a driving hub with container garages. The interior of the hotel was upgraded specifically and with great attention to detail. Starting at the reception desk with branded room cards, logo plots, pictures, a wayfinding system on the floor, customized props in the rooms such as jackets, pictures, door signs – each of the 60 rooms breathed H-D's DNA. A dedicated heritage display of the Sportster family underscored the thematic focus on the new motorcycle.


From Evolution to Revolution.

With this claim, H-D communicated the fully transformed Sportster S. In order to position it as a lifestyle product with urban DNA, it was necessary to create an experience that combines transformation & urbanity, while also providing an optimal riding experience.

Just like the site that experienced the industrial revolution and then a reinvention, the Sportster family was reinvented as well.

We brought the industrial character of the former coal mine into an exciting interplay with the modern look and feel of a 2021 urban-oriented brand and design language of the Sportster S.

The design of the location was kept entirely in the Corporate Design colours black and orange.


The immersion into the Harley-Davidson brand space already started during the shuttle ride. Guests were given first insights of the history of the Essen colliery, which was also projected narratively onto the development of the Sportster family. After checking into the hotel and into the brand experience, the press and dealer briefing started, in which the new bike was presented with all its features and functions. A highlight was the live feed from Milwaukee headquarters. At a BBQ get-together, the guests were able to network in the special atmosphere.

The next day, the next highlight of the Brand Experience took place: a dynamic riding experience to explore the core elements of urbanity, lifestyle and transformation in action. The branded route integrated urban elements and country roads to test performance. This final component of the experience bridged the gap between evolution and revolution.


The goal was achieved: setting a visible landmark dedicated to the Harley-Davidson brand and creating a seamless customer experience over a full 24 hours.

Based on feedback on-site, influencer postings and journalist coverage, it was clear that the "From Evolution to Revolution" message was well received.

A total of 95 journalists and influencers from 15 countries took part in the brand experience during 5 press days. This results in a commitment rate of approximately 95%.

Dealers were represented by 166 pax from 15 countries and could be convinced of the Sportster S over 6 days. 70% of the invited dealers from the EMEA region were reached.

Media reach of the journalists was around 1 million impressions per journalist. Extrapolated, that's just under 100 million impressions. This media coverage was further extended by the reach of Harley Davidson’s and the dealers’ owned channels.

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Hustle & Motivate: A Williams Brothers Story

AMC, New york

Hustle & Motivate: A Williams Brothers Story

2020, JEEP

(opens in a new tab)