Tough Turban

Pfaff Harley-Davidson

Issue 61 | January 2022


Zulu Alpha Kilo

Creative Team

Creative Director, Chief Creative Officer Zak Mroueh Head of Design Stephanie Yung ACD Art Director Vic Bath ACD Writer Dan Cummings Designer Jeff Watkins, Rasna Jaswal

Production Team

Head of Production Adam Palmer Producer Laura Dubcovsky, Kathryn Brown Product Design Sparks Innovation Production House Zulubot

Other Credits

Account Team Rob Feightner, Matt Sinuita, David Trembley, Allison Diaz Mercado Strategy Team Spencer MacEachern, Shaunagh Farrelly Client Marketing Director (Pfaff) Melanie Somerville Brand Marketing Specialist Brandon Durmann


June 2021


All Sikh men are required by their religion to cover their heads. Sikhs who ride motorcycles are forced to choose between their beliefs and their safety. Even though the Ontario government passed legislation that exempts Sikhs from having to wear helmets, the question remained: How could they ride safely?


Pfaff Harley-Davidson developed protective headgear specifically for Sikh motorcyclists.

Tough Turban was a marriage of ancient traditions and high-tech. Working with designers experienced in 3D printing and bulletproof clothing, about half the fabric was normal turban material but the outer layers included Dyneema, a 3D-printed, carbonfibre version of chain mail and non- Newtonian foam that hardens on impact.


Quantitative research with people who own or are planning to buy a motorcycle showed 87% saw Harley-Davidson as more favourable (52% much more favourable, 35% slightly more favourable) and 86% saw Harley-Davidson as more innovative, 83% saw Harley-Davidson as more inclusive and 85% were more likely to consider buying a Harley-Davidson.

Three manufacturers have reached out to explore large-scale production and British Sikhs were inspired to ask their government to re-examine turban laws.

The campaign has accumulated 238.8 million earned impressions and an advertising value of $2.19 million.

Our Thoughts

Sikhs have long pointed out that they weren’t made to wear helmets when they fought in the first and second world wars so why are they discriminated against when it comes to riding motorcycles? Here’s Harley-Davidson stepping in with a solution to the dilemma and managing to score several points with one initiative. Firstly, they’re demonstrating inclusivity. Secondly they are making a statement about road safety. Thirdly they come out of it as innovators. This is how you build a brand without spending a cent on TV advertising.

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