Star Motorcycles is the brand name for Yamaha’s cruiser line of bikes sold in America. We helped launch the Star Motorcycles brand years earlier and grow it to the number one metric (Japanese) cruiser brand in the U.S. However, Star Motorcycle’s largest competitor, Harley Davidson, is the number one cruiser motorcycle brand in the world, with a huge market share lead. Star Motorcycle’s new bobber, the Bolt, was being launched to compete head-to-head with Harley’s #1 selling motorcycle: the Sportster.


  • Create awareness of and desire for a new entry-level cruiser motorcycle
  • Compete against the world’s #1 selling cruiser: the iconic Harley Sportster
  • Communicate competitive advantages and points of difference
  • Create immediate buzz around the Bolt and steal market share from class-leader Harley

What We Did

  • Researched current bobber cruiser market and industry trends
  • Created timeline for rapid launch of new model, the Bolt
  • Created multi-platform campaign designed to build interest and anticipation for new product launch
  • Set out to change perception that the Harley Sportster is “the only game in town”

Strategic Solutions

  • Developed “teaser” campaign to build excitement
  • Created live-event online simulcast for launch, Apps a microsite, digital, radio, TV and print campaign<
  • Position Bolt motorcycle as more than a just a new bike, but as a lifestyle

Creative Solutions
· Created “Its time has come” teaser campaign with countdown timer to build anticipation and intrigue
· Created “Less is More” campaign
· “Less is More” campaign tapped into the demographic insight of people moving away from excess and seeking
sensible minimal life choices
· New campaign communicated “cool” factor of Gen Y lifestyle and how new Bolt model fits into that perfectly
· Promoted Bolt Custom Build-Off contest to convey ease of personalization and customization

· 207,492 Youtube views
· Over 23,000 votes but most important are the hundreds of new shares and conversations generated online for the BOLT
· Sales for the BOLT have increase 70% YOY making it Star’s #1 selling model two years straight

Work created by GearShift for Yamaha and Star Motorcycles shown with permission from Yamaha Motor Corporation.