2009 Yamaha TMAX Video

The Yamaha TMax is garnering some serious love from the motorsports press, and the new yellow color livens up the look a little. So leave it up to Yamaha to unleash an ultra- lame marketing campaign. The target market for a $8000 scooter is not sheepish motorcyclists, it’s people who specifically want to AVOID being lumped into the testosterone-fueled image-conscious world of motorcycles, but still want to enjoy 2-wheeled life. No one in that market (including me) will recognize the third-tier motorsports celebrities in the ad, nor will they empathize with their “image” problems (let alone their acting skills). And here’s another tip: get those stupid dated tribal-flame bullshit decals off that yellow T-Max, or I’m going to come to Cypress, CA with a heat gun and do it myself. You’re killing me, Yamaha.

The T-Max (once you take those stickers off) is possibly the most appealing scooter available domestically right now, and Yamaha wants to let America know. I understand that. But what does reinforcing scooter stereotypes do for your other scooter models? Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell it as a great scooter, rather than a passable motorcycle? Is it smart to market TMaxes to the small percentage of Americans that are already motorcyclists, rather than the much larger percentage that aren’t?

[Thanks for the video link, Ryan]

8 thoughts on “2009 Yamaha TMAX Video”

  1. I don’t teach much in the way of advertising and public relations but I do teach it a little. And I really wonder sometimes who is doing the marketing for the various scooter sellers in this country.

    It terrifies me that the group that seems to recognize their target audience the best are the folks selling cheap Chinese clone bikes.

  2. I couldn’t agree more that these ads are super-lame and down-right insulting. The first time I saw them a couple months ago my jaw hurt from grinding my teeth so hard. Yamaha should really ask their ad agency if they have anyone on staff who has ever ridden a scooter. or even a motorcycle for that matter.

  3. I think they have a decent idea what their market is. I’d bet most Yamaha dealerships are not in urban areas. When you get out of the city, you see the people that ads like this may appeal to. Remember the dealer show at Indy, Bb? Those are the faces that greet buyers and mainstream powersports dealers across the country. The video is sadly speaking directly at the concerns of many current Yamaha customers. Why preach to the converted that have the sense to realize scooters are great. That job is done. The Zuma has gone a long way to pull in the polyphobic NASCAR crowd. For a scooter that horribly designed to sell so well is proof that the appearance of being tough and manly is the most important thing.

  4. Ultra lame indeed. A scooter made to ride like a motorcycle.

  5. > The T-Max is possibly the most appealing scooter available
    > domestically right now.

    Amen. When I stopped at a dealer to get my scooter repaired during the Cannonball, I walked in the front door, saw the TMax, and was ready to trade right then and there. Forget the ad campaign, that scoot looks the stuff.


  6. RE: Ultra lame indeed. A scooter made to ride like a motorcycle.

    The TMax is pretty lame as a faux-motorcycle with the Aprilia Mana 850 available. The Mana is better handling, has a shorter wheelbase, more powerful engine, and higher-tech CVT transmission. The Mana has the same amount of built-in storage as the TMax but on the Mana you can access it while sitting on the bike… and also optional topcase and sidecases.

  7. $8000 or $8100 (if you want the yellow). For a 500cc scooter with a 1 year warranty – get’s under 50 mpg – sorry, but hasn’t Kymco already covered in the “ugly-automatic-buck-rogers-heavy-long-ridiculous-scooter”?

    Covered with double the warranty and about $2000 less.

  8. It is utterly ridiculous that it costs $100 more for yellow paint.

    But it does seem like something special, if the european press and sales mean anything. Then again, that might just mean whatever marketing they’re doing there is clearly better than what they’re doing here.

    Have you ridden one Phil?

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