The MV Agusta motorcycle brand prides itself in producing rolling art.   Motorcycle rolling art.  But, it seems that the brand may have taken too much liberty with the term.  Art often aligns itself with beauty.  Perhaps this was MV Agusta’s approach with its newest advertising video.

New motorcycle announcement

But in announcing their newest bike, the MV Agusta Superveloce 800 Serie Oro, the Italian brand has produced a controversial advertising video.  The video depicts a naked woman moving sensually around and on the new bike.  But is that type of imagery appropriate for selling motorcycles?

MV’s CEO responds

To get MV Agusta’s point of view, Cycle World reached out to MV Agusta’s CEO Timu Sadarov for comment and the brand’s rationale for the video.  Responding to Cycle World’s questions, Sadarov had this to say:

What was the motivation behind the latest ad campaign?

  • Our slogan is “Motorcycle Art” so we treat our creations as works of art. The Superveloce 800 video is an artistic expression of the director who wanted to underline the relationship, passion, intimacy, and sensuality between human and machine.

Now that the company has seen the backlash, is it standing behind the campaign or do those in charge view this direction as a mistake?

  • No, we don’t because this video is an artistic expression of the director. We fully stand behind the creator and director.

With more females riding now than ever, is MV Agusta focused on growing its presence in that market?

  • Absolutely. With our new product strategy, we are fully committed to design and develop bikes that are appealing to women but clearly with MV Agusta DNA.

Pirelli shifted the photography in its iconic calendars away from sexy imagery. Did that give pause to those in charge of MV Agusta’s marketing?

  • We have our own ideas and our own vision. We will continue to collaborate with artists who, like us, see the world differently and are not afraid to take risks to express their individualism and ideas.

Is it about art or sales?

So MV’s CEO claims that his new advertising campaign is more about artistic expression than sales.  But does the majority of the moto community see it that way?  So why would MV Agusta, a small niche brand produce such a controversial video?

Are they truly standing by artistic expression or could it be something else?  Could it be that MV is trying to get its bikes into the public eye?  Even at the risk of offending many people?

P.T. Barnum, the American showman and circus owner who allegedly said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity”.  Could this strategy be the rationale for the campaign?  That may be a very relevant question.

But with women riders becoming a much larger and fast-growing segment of new motorcycle buyers, have they alienated themselves out of new customers?  Time will tell.

The Superveloce 800 is arguably a very beautiful machine.  But do you think about MV Agusta’s Superveloce 800’s sales will be enhanced by a controversial video?  Tell us in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: I made the call not to embed the video here as it is definitely NSFW. You can easily find it online. 

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