Cut the crap: KTM’s 2020 DUKE campaign is selling bikes – with brand value.

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Motorcycle riders buy the attitude of the riding experience. To speak to them, Brand Communication experts gave the KTM DUKE line-up a voice.

Action. Freedom. Performance. Braap! The motorcycle industry has a problem with communication: it’s all the same. Sure, it generates sales, but what if a brand wants to offer more to riders? In the KTM DUKE’s 25th year we rewired the approach; giving riders a new way to engage with the brand, and its alpha: the 1290 SUPER DUKE R.

It takes a special kind of person to mount The Beast. 

Non-conformist, unapologetic, and fearless. You can imagine them winking at you as they cut you off in traffic. KISKA’s creative team knows these people better than anyone else. We are these people.

An integrated taskforce of Product Management Consultants, Copywriters, Social Media Specialists, Graphic Designers, and Motorcycle Designers pushed the concept and built the campaign. A year-long communication and advertising production, it teased and enticed; connecting KTM with DUKE riders (or soon-to-be riders) like never before.

Mixing an edgy message and approach with the right channels is explosive.

The campaign launched with an ad series on TV and social media during MotoGP races. Featuring ultra-masculine American actor Peter Koch, they are reduced to the max. Just a man, a black background, and his opinions. Drastically different from typical industry advertising, they finally gave DUKE fans a voice.

Phase two: SUPER DUKE fans get a name: DUKE ARMY. Building brand awareness and community, the social media activation included a Facebook page and a slew of posts featuring the hashtag #GETDUKED.

Of course, all roads lead to the EICMA motorcycle show. The final phase kicked off by teasing the new SUPER DUKE R prototype. One hundred percent in-tune with the campaign, product shots and behind-the-scenes footage kept fans in suspense until it was revealed. A week before the event.

Something even bigger was coming. 

“We wanted people to say, ‘Well, they only went ahead and bloody made it’.”

Motorcycle culture is about leather and metal, so why do “the Suits” launch the bikes? The campaign achieved peak attitude when the press conference began with another Peter Koch monologue. Stripped down and dripping sarcasm, it cued a radical plot twist: the reveal of the production-ready KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R. A year ahead of schedule.

Why? Because the fans deserved it. Giving KTM a face and personality, the campaign adds value to the brand beyond the bike. It also gives the DUKE ARMY a voice and the space needed to engage with KTM in more meaningful ways.

The 1290 SUPER DUKE R joins the pack.

In 2024, DUKE celebrates its 30th birthday. Three decades of ‘no bullshit’ will be celebrated throughout the year, featuring a ’30 YEARS OF DUKE’ special exhibition at the KTM Motohalll. KISKA and KTM have worked shoulder-to-shoulder to develop the legendary DUKE line-up, starting with the very first model in 1994 up to the new 1390 SUPER DUKE R in 2024.

Get into our headspace when we designed the KTM 790 DUKE prototype here.

“A motorcycle is more than just a collection of hot parts and performance specs. Riders buy the attitude of the riding experience. To speak to them, we gave the DUKE lineup a voice and personality.”

– Jason I Lead Copywriter

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Life as a Lead Communication Strategist and Copywriter.

“The best part of the job is collaborating with talented people . . . Then seeing all the parts come together into something new, fresh, and previously unseen.”


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