Warning: this comes with a parental advisory and a NSFW mention.
Not so long ago, we got really excited about MV Agusta’s new teaser image shared on the company’s Instagram account. From concept, we got the confirmation the Superveloce 800 was heading to production. The sexy still seemingly grabbed from a video showed the silhouette of an obviously naked woman straddling the brand-new model, flipping her hair back. Just the usual male-catering ad of a sexy bike with a sexy lady. Racy and tired cliché? Yes. Outrageous? No. We thought it would end there. But it didn’t. A word of advice: don’t watch this on your work computer for everyone to see, you might receive an e-mail from HR.
There’s now a video and while I suspect MV Agusta is trying to make us hot under the collar, with its campaign verging on softcore erotica, I can’t say for you for sure, but for everyone at RideApart, this was actually uncomfortable to watch. We’re not prudes by any means, but… this is something else. Thank god we actually get a peek at the bike the brand is trying to advertise because, remember, this is a bike teaser.
“What do men like? Women of course, and motorcycles. Let’s combine the two in an ad; guys are going to lose their minds and buy our product. Good work everyone, I’ll see you on Monday.” — brainstorming session at every motorcycle company at some point in history.
Motorcycles and naked women have a long history of mingling for marketing purposes. There’s rarely been the need to think any further, that is until women started speaking up. Sorry boys, we like bikes too! So in 2019, it begs the question: how is a (very) naked woman grinding on a motorcycle still a thing? Watching her go made me a little worried for the suede-covered saddle, ‘cause, y’know… bodily fluids.
Until now, I was actually really excited about how good the new Superveloce looks—it’s an absolutely gorgeous bike and the fact that 300 units will grace our roads is amazing. By the by, if you’re interested and the €27,990 (US$31,500) price tag fits your budget, the order book for the MV Agusta Superveloce 800 Serie Oro is now open.
After watching the ad, though, I’m left with a bitter aftertaste (no innuendo intended). Italians can be innovative in so many ways yet tremendously regressive in others. I get it, the Superveloce is so sexy it turns everyone on. Can’t you let the design of the bike speak for itself? I mean, most of us aren't blind... Does the sex appeal have to be rubbed in our face through a model’s suggestive looks and moves?
If I’m going to be honest (and probably a little predictable), this likely greatly reduced the chances of a woman buying the bike. Obviously, that’s not who MV Agusta is catering to and that’s kind of sad. You know this already, but the women’s share of the motorcycle market is booming, yet the industry is having a hard time adapting—unless you like white and pink gear clad in tribal and butterfly motifs.
Beyond the whole feminist spiel: it’s also suggesting that modern men still need to be advertised to using boobs and engines. I like to believe most men have evolved a little beyond that stage and would rather find their dose of naked bodies elsewhere than in advertising. It’s not to say that the vision isn’t pretty, but the message suggests we’re dumb and we need a naked bum to sell us anything. A little outdated, don’t you think? There are so many classier ways of suggesting sexiness without having to resort to such an overt display of it.
“Speed. Yellow. Red.” Did all the budget go to hiring the model and none was left for the writing part?
But I’ll say what I’ve said before about a weird lingerie campaign that had half-naked women riding around town on motorcycles. I might not like the campaign or the message it conveys, but I’ll hand it to the company: it’s working because we’re talking about it. I don’t know if MV Agusta was going for the “oooh” or the “eeew” factor, but as long as it gets eyes on the bike, I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Maybe the nice lady's encounter with the Superveloce is what gave birth to the Motaur, just sayin'...