Zulu Alpha Kilo Toronto


CONCEPT: A mature brand, Harley-Davidson has been on a mission to build its rider base and ensure a strong customer pipeline for growth. But while the Canadian riding community admired Harley’s iconic history, many people weren’t considering its bikes. Harley was seen as a brand for white men over 50. Our objective was to address this misperception and illustrate that the brand celebrates a diversity of riders.

This is especially important in Canada, where diversity is a cornerstone of the national identity. Canada has the highest foreign-born population among the G8 countries with people reporting 200+ ethnic origins.

We also knew Harley was approaching its 100th year in Canada. This presented us with a celebratory milestone by which to help meet our objectives. We could showcase the Harley brand and rider base as diverse as our country.

EXECUTION: We created the world’s first “foreign exchange for bikers” with a 12-part online documentary series, entitled Common Ground. The series followed a Harley rider invited from New Zealand, Mexico and India together with a rider from a part of Canada. Meeting for the first time, each pair of riders ventured on a unique six-day journey across Canada, visiting communities, meeting people and taming diverse landscapes.

Their journey became the basis for the episodes of the series on the HDCommonGround website. Starting as strangers, viewers would see these Harley riders forge bonds through the common ground that connects them: riding.

We promoted Common Ground with short- and long-form content including on Instagram Story and retro-style posters of riders on Harley bikes set against different Canadian landscapes. The posters became so sought after that people began tearing them down from construction barricades and other public displays as collectibles.


Running from May to September, the campaign achieved:

• Over 47MM impressions, surpassing our goal by 235%
• Over 8.7MM views, surpassing our goal by 218%
• Over 415,000 engagements
• A market share increase for Harley of 1.9%, despite the industry decreasing by 3.8%

Critics loved the series as much as audiences. Fast Company described it as “content that people actually want to watch”. The content was so compelling, in fact, that Discovery Channel picked up the documentary as a one-hour primetime special. Over 475,000 Canadians tuned in – more than double the average viewership of a Toronto Raptors basketball game! Common Ground earned national and international press, including from CBC, CTV, National Post and Edmonton Journal.
AdWeek held up Common Ground in its Arc Awards recognizing the Best Brand Storytelling of 2017.

1. Statistics Canada

Date created: June 2017 2017-06-01T00:00:00+0100
Date published: 4 March 2019 2019-03-04T20:13:00+0000


AdWeek Arc Awards
EPICA Award - Bronze
OBIE Award


  • Harley-Davidson CanadaClient
  • Adi GilbertIllustrator
  • Alice KoAccount Team
  • Allen OkeExecutive Creative Director
  • Andrea RomanelliArt Director (Posters)
  • Andrew CaieAssociate Creative Director, Writer
  • Anne EdgarProducer
  • APM Music HouseMusic House
  • Artifact NonfictionProduction House
  • Brandon DysonDigital Imaging
  • Brendan McMullenArt Director
  • Bryce BrentlingerProducer
  • Chris MinnsEditor
  • David GrabiasDirector
  • Edward AppleyardSO
  • Greg HeptinstallMac Artist
  • Heidi PhilipStrategic Planner
  • Jamie CuthbertsonStrategic Planner
  • Jason ZukowskiColourist
  • Jay BakerEditor
  • Jim TiniosDigital Imaging
  • Jodie MooreProducer
  • John TranDirector of Photography
  • Karen CardyProject Lead
  • Kari Macknight DearbornAgency Producer (Posters)
  • Kerry McKibbinAccount Team
  • Lance KowlessarAccount Team
  • Micah Rix-HayesEditor
  • Noel FennAssociate Creative Director, Art Director
  • Pam PortsmouthAgency Producer
  • RedLabCompositor, Transfer, Audio
  • Rod ChristieEditor
  • Sam KamielCommunity Manager
  • Sonny KeyesAudio Director
  • Stephen StepanicAudio Engineer
  • Team IgniteMedia Agency
  • Zak MrouehChief Creative Officer
  • ZulubotEditing Company, Audio
  • * Ryan BoothDesigner (Posters)
  • * Zulu Alpha KiloAgency
  • * Jacob PaceyCopywriter
  • * Heather SegalStrategy Director
  • * D TremblayGroup Account Director
  • * Sean BellBrand Innovation Director
Annual 2018 SilverCommon GroundBranded Content

Common Ground