Two years, ago Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spent Thanksgiving in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam taking in the sights and enjoying some R&R. To get around, Pitt rented a Yamaha Nouvo scooter, with Jolie perched on the back. Of course, the paparazzi snapped away — and suddenly, free advertising for Yamaha turned into major sales. From the article,
“The image of the cool actor driving an automatic scooter changed consumers’ perceptions that previously associated the model with female drivers. Japanese renowned manufacturer Honda forayed into the market soon after, debuting a sporty-looking Air Blade model in April last year that domestic motorbike traders said was a breakthrough in design for automatic scooters. The Honda Air Blade enchanted consumers and the current available supplies of the model have yet to meet overwhelming public demand.”
Yamaha has since answered Honda’s introduction with a revamped Nouvo — but the race is on and other manufacturers like Piaggio and Kymco are adding to the competition.
Of course, high gas prices are probably a greater catalyst overall — but it’s pretty amazing what some celebrity photos will do for an entire market.