by Michael dEstries
Categories: Transport
Tags: , .

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. 

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • a vietnamese

    Oh, this is pure BS. Scooters have always been a part of Vietnameses’ life as well as Southeast Asians’. The Vietnamese males have looked quite cool riding scooters with their girlfriends/wives/children. They have always been the epitome of cool mixture of recklessness and romanticism. No helmet, no protective gears, just the man and his scooter, hugging the curves of the roads.

    The Japanese scooter makers just want to ride BP’s popularity coat tail. They already made billions of dollars selling scooters to Southeast Asians before pics of BP riding bike the way poor folks do in VN. He is in no way responsible for scooter’s popularity.

    That said, I did not find him the least appealing until this picture showed up. It tugged my nostalgic heart string. For my longing for days gone by, BP and AJ are partly responsible.

  • Sami

    Am sure their use of the model boosted sales and the new competitive state the market is in. Even though I agree with above poster that Scooters were popular before, I think the new cool is probably because of BP.

    I don’t blame the industry for trying to ride their coat tails, everyone else does. They should start suing the people who use their names and images for free publicity without permission.

    At least this is not a deliberately negative slant to get hits and exposure.