I don’t know about you guys, but if I invented a product that the whole world was waiting to see and was having some difficulties getting it into the hands of consumers, the last thing I would do is alienate those patient enough to stick with me. Skully, the brand behind that fancy but long-delayed heads-up-display (HUD) helmet, has unfortunately been doing just that.
The Skully helmet and its fancy HUD and camera, made huge waves when they first released pics and video of its Iron Man-esque lid back in late 2013.
But, after raising insane amounts of money and pushing the launch date further and further back, many riders have started giving up hope that this thing will ever see the light of day.
Skully’s initial goal on an Indiegogo page was to raise $250,000 to support the research, development, and production of the AR-1 “smart motorcycle helmet.”
By the time I went and met with the team and saw the prototype in August of 2014, they’d raised $952,062. I got a chance to wear the helmet (in their office, not on a bike) and was excited, yet skeptical, about what it could mean for the future.
At the time Skully was still shooting for a Christmas 2014 release, but admitted that it might come out spring of 2015 instead. That came and went. Then, in May of 2015, Skully pushed delivery back to December of 2015.
Then it released this video on July 28th, which was sent out in an email to people who’d pre-ordered the helmet to try and appease concerns. It’s interesting to note that the shots inside the factory where the shells are being made (not the electronics) looks pretty far from what I’d call an “American manufacturing partner.” Anyway, that came with more claims of a pre-2015 holiday release.
It’s now December 28th, 2015 and the world still hasn’t seen the Skully Ar-1 helmet. Oh, and that Indigogo page is still up, and says they’ve raised $2,446,824; almost 10 times their initial goal.
Now, in a stunt that literally couldn’t be worse for a brand who should maybe lay low until they have really, really good news, the helmet company has taken to Instagram to try some cute tricks to prove how hip they are.
This top shot above is Skully’s most recent pic, which was launched as the final in a series of three. However, a look at their profile shows what they’re after:
Now, hipster-ish fellow that I am, I can certainly appreciate a well-curated Instagram account. Using the layout of the profile to combine images has become popular lately, and guys like Riley Harper or Casey McPerry have certainly done some really cool things with the technique. See some examples below.
The responses to Skully’s stunt, as you can see from the top shot or in the comments of their recent pics, is definitely not having the desired effect.
From the comments (one comment from nine of the last ten posted):
- cedar725 How about you guys focus on our helmets that were promised over a year ago. This shit is corny and pointless, this page should be for feedback not entertainment.
- mjhouseman Seems a little excessive... Trying to overcompensate?
- sinforme_ind Oh fuck off with that shit again!!
- tuckerscott_la Plz staph
- rcartier1 Come on. Not this shit again....
- tx1911fan If you guys do this again I’m dropping you. It was stupid the first time.
- elberno @skullysystems please Stop this nonsense or Im unfollowing you.
- robinnathan75 Would love to see the stats showing how many people unfollowed you following this ridiculous attempt at a marketing campaign. Did you not pass this through the “is this gonna piss people off” department? Idiots.
- deadsp0t @sicholasnilva pics? Links? Video? Again.. After two years of BS.. Seeing is believing
I reached out to Skully to see if there was any news or for comment on the Instagram stunt, but have yet to get a response. As with all things, we hope to see the helmet, hope it’s good, hope people will buy them, and hope more companies will look into new and innovative ways to make our experience of motorcycles better and safer.
Until then, Skully would do well to focus a little more on delivering some helmets and a little less on social media stunts.
(For what it’s worth, this is how you post pictures so they look neat in your profile, while making people glad you did it instead of making them unfollow you).
Photos: Skully, Riley Harper, Casey McPerry