MV Agusta Apparently Supplementing “Motorcycle Art” Business with Hybrid Porn/80s Music Videos

We here at CityBike dig MV Agusta motorcycles—most recently, the Wrecking Crew loved the updated Brutale 800. But having observed a variety of “resets” of MV’s business we’re aware of the repeated challenges faced by the storied Italian marque, many of which are arguably self-created. As such, that the latest incarnation of MV seems to be drawing inspiration from shitty “music” videos of the Eighties in their endeavors to drive pre-orders of the new, limited edition Superveloce 800 Serie Oro, is disappointing both in how it represents both the brand’s long reputation and the motorcycle industry’s supposed progress toward a little less backasswardness and a little more equity and balance.

In May, MV Agusta began sharing a video (and screenshots) via social media; the video is also on the Superveloce 800 Serie Oro model page. There’s not much about the bike itself—mostly shots of a slender, attractive young lady dressed in nothing but footwear: sometimes boots, sometimes white sneakers, Jax-style.

The clip is part lapdance, part Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and yes, part motorcycle—we do see some bodywork, a bit of a burnout, and the yellow headlight shining through the nude model’s thigh gap. A female voice whispers onscreen text seductively, first “yellow,” then “red,” before closing out the whole thing with “Superveloce.” Yes, seriously.

Check it out:

Those of us who experienced the shitty hair rock of the Eighties and the corresponding, laughably bad videos may find this familiar, even if the music is different. For comparison:

Now, which of these screenshots is from the Crüe video?

Shit. I guess the motorcycle in the second one kinda gives it away.

To be clear: this isn’t about the nudity, nor the contrast betwixt easily offended, Puritanical American mores and liberal European sensibilities. It is about the embarrassingly simple-minded willingness to run remedial plays from an antiquated marketing playbook instead of committing to the arduous labors required to convince potential customers it’s for real this time, that MV Agusta is going to do more than talk about perceived—and sometimes very real—issues like dealer support and parts availability.

Were we blessed to live in a society where all bodies were equally bared, appreciated and exploited—never mind the imbalance of power and privilege; or even one where such a large portion of male consumers weren’t consistently so stupid as to be swayed to purchase by the fictitious charms of fetching female forms positioned as accessories on vehicles, holding beverages, tools, or the like, this form of marketing might not be so off-putting and pathetic.

Instead, we have a company that makes truly extraordinary motorcycles, that despite this material advantage, decides that their elegant, stunning Superveloce—never mind the out-of-place round lights—can’t stand on its own, and instead must be accompanied by a stereotypical video in which a babe bares it all and rides cowgirl on the exclusive Serie Oro.

The advanced intellect attracted by this sort marketing is on display in the comments on MV Agusta’s Instagram posts, with crackerjack keyboard jockeys trotting out old favorites like “Can I get her number?” and “Does she come with the bike?”

You can also find the customary gnashing of teeth from the real victims here: dudes bemoaning political correctness, outraged by all the outrage. Even uglier behavior surfaced in the comments on an image posted by MV featuring model Winnie Harlow, who has the skin condition vitiligo, at the amfAR Gala Cannes, where a Limited Edition Brutale 800 RR LH44 was auctioned off to benefit the foundation’s AIDS research.

And therein lies the point: there’s a big crossover in the Venn diagram of dipshits who get their rocks off trash-talking people who look different than they do and people who base their motorcycle buying decisions on such hackneyed, lazy marketing. This segment of the population is often referred to by marketers as “meatheads.”

Venn diagram of MV Agusta's target audience

Now, this past week, a detractor labeled CityBike a “hipster lifestyle accessory” and “blowhard megaphone,” just before an overly precious big-business Texas builder, taking umbrage at my assessment of his bike’s presence and purpose at the 2019 Quail Motorcycle Gathering, decried my lack of “creative or literal vision,” the latter of which is an all-too-common abuse of the word literal, common among people who don’t understand the mechanics of the language they’re attempting to employ to insult and attack.

Presumably, publishing this point of view on MV’s cliched, chauvinistic focus on “where passion for riding and desire for beauty touch each other instead of the Supeveloce’s exceptional aesthetics and (likely) capabilities will result in equally astute allegations of flaccid snowflake cuckoldry, denunciations as unimaginative and inaccurate as MV’s sexism is insipid and unnecessary.

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