Harley-Davidson goes edgy in the face of declining sales and a weakening economy. It's seemingly not aimed at folks worried about their 401-K — or holding onto a job. The ad's voiceover says that "if 105 years have proved one thing, it's that fear sucks, and it doesn't last long. So screw it, let's ride."
But, the edgy new ads will get Harley some attention. Craig Andrews is a business and marketing professor at Marquette University. "It's certainly going to be noticed," says Andrews. "Whether or not it's effective is certainly another issue." Andrews says the ad appeals to believers in Harley's counterculture image, and may serve to retain current owners and attract new riders to the brand. Harley-Davidson's financing division is seeing a spike in delinquent loans to motorcycle buyers, and the Milwaukee based firm has announced cuts in production, and layoffs .