Is the MV Agusta Superveloce ad a step too far?

MV Agusta has released a video for its Superveloce that's come from the 70s with a naked woman sat astride their latest machine

MV Agusta Superveloce

MV AGUSTA has always been a brand that treads their own path when it comes to advertising campaigns and PR. And their latest video, promoting the new Superveloce, proves they still strongly believe that a naked woman astride a motorcycle is the best way to shift units.

We aren’t going to share the clip because, well, we’re a family website and all that, but mainly because it makes us all feel a little uneasy – but it is easily traceable with the selection of a few choice keywords and a well-known video streaming website. Just don’t do it on your work laptop, or in front of your significant other.

Here’s the rough break down for you – Superveloce parked in an industrial setting. Naked women sat astride said motorcycle, running her hands over the front and rear lights, writhing around in a suggestive manner. Clip ends with sultry Italian female voice speaking the phrase “Superveloce – Motorcycle Art” in a 20 Marlboro-a-day voice.

Now, we all know that in times gone by, the motorcycle industry had fewer weapons in its armory to sell bikes – no social media, no cool drone cameras, no GoPros showing cool angles of bikes we don’t normally get to see. All they had to rely on were celebrity racer endorsements, magazine adverts, and scantily clad (occasionally naked – see Norton’s 60s/70s offerings) women to help them sell their machines.

Now we know, back then it was a fairly unimaginative era in that sense, but it’s all the marketing teams had and it was a different time back then. Since the birth of the internal combustion engine car, bike, truck and tyre companies had used the female form as the de facto method of getting their product noticed by the (mostly male) readership.

Fast forward to 2019 and most manufacturers have come to terms with the fact that more women are getting into motorcycling than ever before, a partially clothed lady on a bike advert might put them off. The 21st century and the rise of the #MeToo movement should have put the idea of companies objectifying the female form well in the office waste bin – but no.

So, in an age where grid-girls (rightly or wrongly) are being removed from grids, why did MV Agusta decide that this semi-pornographic advert a good idea? MV’s CEO, Timur Sadarov spoke to Cycle World and said: “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.”

The website further pressed on the matter, asking if after seeing the (mostly negative) feedback if the video was a mistake. He replied, “No, we don’t because this video is an artistic expression of the director. We fully stand behind the creator and director.”

He then went on to defend MV’s position with the female riders of the world with, “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”

Have you seen the video? What did you think, creative licence used tastefully, or and out of date take on an industry that’s moved on since the mid-20th century?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.