Sunday, March 3, 2013

More from the Dept. of Free Food for Millionaires

I blasted MV Agusta for the idiotic decision to give Justin Bieber a new 675 the other day. The bike had been customized by some 'artist' with a one-word name, in one of J-boy's favorite themes: Batman.

Fuck me.

You know, when the motorcycle business went into the toilet in 2008, the industry threw up its hands and claimed that there was nothing to do but await an economic turnaround. When that wasn't forthcoming they did, finally, throw some effort into bringing affordable new bikes to market.

But don't kid yourself, most of the motorcycle industry's problems were brought on by the fact that, collectively, the business has the marketing savvy and brand awareness of... I don't know what.

Justin Bieber, MV Agusta? Justin Bieber?!?

How happy do you think Ducati was when a paparazzi shot of Justin Bieber appeared on Hell for Leather associated with a story about what an idiot he was?

I mean this sincerely: The reason this stuff drives me crazy is not only -- or even mainly -- because I hate America's free-food-for-millionaires, star-fucker culture. Although I admit that I do hate it. It drives me crazy because after 20 years in the ad business I can guarantee you that on top of being immoral it's a waste of money. What idiot at MV thinks that in spite of the flash of web exposure they got for Bieber's customized 675, they'll sell enough bikes to justify the effort?

Since Marketing Dept. idiots everywhere love charts, let me explain it with a couple of 'em.
The two circles on this Venn diagram illustrate the approximate relative sizes of MV Agusta's annual sales and Bieber's downloads. On the face of it, I suppose MV can't be blamed for wanting to tap Bieber's millions of fans. Except, on closer examination...
...we see that, in fact, what they should have looked at was the intersection of the two sets. Prior to this promotion, the universe of people who cared about Justin Bieber and the universe of people interested in an MV Agusta motorcycle only overlapped at a single individual. And that was Justin Bieber.
Finally, in this pie chart, we see that the vast majority of people considering an MV either don't give a shit about Justin Bieber, or in fact are LESS likely to buy one after the brand's been associated with Bieber. The pink slice, which has been greatly exaggerated in order to make it visible, shows that there are actually only two people for whom the association of the two brands is deemed positive for MV.

Congratulations MV Agusta. You've just gone to a lot of trouble and expense to hurt your brand. If you'd been thinking, you would have given Justin Bieber a Triumph 675. That high-pitched sound you hear is Count Domenico spinning in his grave.


  1. That's "not" an MV he's on, that's a Ducati 848. What an embarrassing rant. You may as well be claiming it's a Harley.

  2. Dear Mr. Pill,
    You clearly didn't read the photo caption, which accurately identifies the bike in the photo as a Ducati. Your misunderstanding is, I presume, based on the fact that you don't realize this is the second part of a two-part rant, about Bieber and MV. The Ducati photo is illustrative. What an embarrassing comment on your part. You might as well be a Harley rider.