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“Buy a Curtiss. Do it. Do it.”

“Hey! Hey kid! Wanna buy a motorcycle? A really, really expensive motorcycle? No, you’re more interested in your smartphone? Well, what if we put together a creepy video advert? Would you want it then? Do it. Do it.”

We’re extrapolating here, but this seems to be the basic thought process behind this marketing video from Curtiss Motorcycles, the reborn version of Confederate Motorcycles. It’s named in honour of the original moto-madman Glenn Curtiss. Curtiss was an aviation pioneer but also dabbled in the world of motorcycle tuning, building a V8 two-wheeler that held the motorcycle top speed record (219.45 km/h) from 1906 to 1930.

To harken back to those glory days, Curtiss Motorcycles has put together this commercial, intended to recall when America was still great. But instead of boilerplate marketspeak about ‘Murica and Freedom, Curtiss has mixed a Charles Bukowski reading with footage of its motorcycle. Hey, the company’s gone electric now, so it’s not as if they can lure you in with the aural satisfaction of a V-twin!

What we’re left with looks oddly like a mash-up of David Lynch filmography; it has the artsy poetic voice-overs of Lynch’s Calvin Klein Obsession commercials mixed with the dingy darkness that pervaded Twin Peaks Season 3. And hey, don’t forget that Lynch loves to subvert Americana, so the Glenn Curtiss connection fits perfectly! All it’s missing is a midget talking backwards and some gratuitous coffee consumption (perhaps the director thought that would make the commercial look too much like a truthful adventure bike promo).

But to be fair, there are other possible influences here as well. The “Do it, Do it” motif could very well have been borrowed from the 2004 Starsky and Hutch film. Or Nike. Who’s to say? Just do it. Do it.

5 thoughts on ““Buy a Curtiss. Do it. Do it.””

  1. Glenn Curtiss was a bicycle maker who became a great engine builder, first for airships and his own motorcycle brands. As one of the partners in the AEA (Aircraft Experimental Association) with Alexander Graham Bell, Baldwin and McCurdy, he supplied the engines that made aviation practical in both the USA and Canada.He invented and developed seaplanes, flying boats, as well as many land-based aircraft. It is a shame that these jerks are using his name to promote something he never had any connection with.

    1. Well I agree that it’s a bit cheeky to appropriate his name without getting his permission … sort of like when those LA designers monetized Von Dutch’s name after he died. Had they tried while he was alive, he might have shot them.

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