Case Study

Aprilia RS660 and Tuono 660 Hybrid Launch

Launch Aprilia’s first middleweight sportbikes to the American audience with a non-traditional and creative digital-first approach in the middle of a pandemic.

Type of Work
01 / The Challenge

Product Launch

Aprilia, a division of the Piaggio Group, approached us with a unique challenge: it needed to launch its first middleweight sportbike, the RS660, and follow it with the launch of the upright version, the Tuono 660, for the American audience in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.

Having corporate executives spread across the United States and Italy prevented a traditional media launch-style gathering, which compounded the limitations imposed by the pandemic.

02 / The Tactic

We accomplished both launches with a series of hybrid PR programs that started with our team producing a virtual unveil press conference, streaming content from two continents to a curated audience of media watching at home that we pitched. Following this digital launch, we organized two different COVID-compliant media experiences using two separate three-day events in Southern California.

To build out the virtual press conference presentation, Kahn Media captured a complete video suite of the RS660 along with footage of Aprilia executives discussing the motorcycle’s features and design. Kahn Media’s creative team in the U.S. collaborated with videographers in Italy to create a collection of content that the Kahn Media team edited and presented.

Two locations were secured for in-person shoots with Miguel Galluzzi, Piaggio Group’s head of motorcycle design, as well as an entire day of video production at the Petersen Automotive Museum’s studio. Kahn Media’s creative team then crafted the images and videos in-house to appear as if it were a polished live stage presentation, similar to what you’d see at an in-person event.

Aprilia streamed the finished product to a national audience of journalists lined up by Kahn Media. Just like a live event, the journalists watched the presentation and then interacted with the Aprilia team – including engineers, Aprilia Factory MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro and executives from Aprilia Americas – in a live, informative Q&A session.

A week following the virtual RS660 unveil, our PR team organized and pitched media invites to the first ride of the new bike, which was going to be hosted in Santa Barbara, California. This included designing the ride route, coordinating photo and video stops, and supporting attending journalists and influencers during the three day event with any content or asset needs. One of the largest challenges was making sure we adhered to strict COVID guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all involved.

Several months later, five Tuono 660s hit US shores and Kahn Media was tasked with planning a new event, pitching and coordinating travel needs for media, as well as selecting an iconic location in Malibu, California, creating ride routes, organizing lunch stops and coordinating with photographer Larry Chen and his team to support all journalist video and photo needs. Each day had a unique mix of endemic journalists as well as hosts of some of the most popular motorcycle-focused YouTube channels. The 100-mile ride was led by Kahn Media to ensure the safety of journalists participating as well as to ensure that the photo and video stops ran smoothly so that journalists received as much content as possible to maximize coverage.

Hybrid Launch


Creatively adjusted approach based
on current environment


Detailed in-person experience
portrayed virtually


Executed a combination of virtual
and in-person experiences
03 / The Results

Diversified Consumer

After both events concluded, over 30 different media outlets had reviewed the new Aprilia motorcycles with coverage appearing in key endemic outlets, large YouTube channels and with key influencers on social media. The positivity and quality of the reviews created a high demand for pre-orders of both middleweight bikes, attracting a new more diverse customer to the Aprilia brand.

The assets and content created from both events have been used across Aprilia social media channels, by dealerships across the country and were shared not only by the outlets, but on each attendee’s personal social channels as well.

About the client:

Aprilia was born into racing and is the sportbike flagship brand for Piaggio Group. With 294 Grand Prix races won in the Road Racing World Championship, Aprilia holds the record for the most wins of any European manufacturer in the history of maximum motorcycle competition. These are joined by an impressive 54 world titles: 38 in Road Racing World Championship (20 in 125 and 18 in 250), 7 in Superbike (Rider and Manufacturer double win in 2010, 2012 and 2014, manufacturers in 2013) and 9 in off-road disciplines (7 in Supermoto and 2 in Trial).

In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group which, with the reorganization of the Noale Racing Division, took the Veneto-based brand to victories in World Championship Motorcycle Racing and broadened the horizons of sport activity: from the return to the off-road disciplines to the debut in 2009 of the Aprilia RSV4 in World Superbike. During the same period Aprilia has also accumulated 28 World Titles and a countless collection of European and national titles.

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