Kawasaki shuts down Milwaukee streets to shoot commercial

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 11, 2017

A major motorcycle company shut down city streets Tuesday to film a new commercial, and it's not Harley-Davidson.

North Avenue between Cramer and Prospect was closed for nearly an hour on Tuesday afternoon so Kawasaki could film a new commercial.

A film crew with a Southern California production company traveled all over the East Side and downtown on Tuesday for the shoot.

A permit filed with the Department of Public Works confirms that the production company is using a dozen different city intersections for the commercial shoot, that will take place Tuesday and Friday.

"I think it has something to say about Milwaukee being seen nationally as kind of an up and coming cool place as opposed to the old Laverne and Shirley image," said Andy Larsen, a partner and VP at Boelter & Lincoln.

Boelter & Lincoln is a local advertising agency and not affiliated with the Kawasaki shoot. But Larsen says Kawasaki typically showcases desert scenes in its ads, so he thinks a commercial in Milwaukee would look much different.

"I think maybe they're going for more of an urban feel," Larsen said. "They may be trying to reposition and get away from only in the desert type position."

While he doesn't know why they chose Milwaukee, he said he doesn't think there was a concern over Milwaukee's iconic Harley-Davidson reputation.

"Certainly it is a Harley town through and through but I think it has more to do with that's a really lively urban area and Milwaukee in the summertime is a great place, there's people around, there's cool stuff there like the Oriental Theater," Larsen said.

The production company, Fuse Interactive, would not comment on the shoot. A representative for Kawasaki did not respond to our request for comment, so it's unclear why they chose Milwaukee.

But Larsen says along with the economic impact, he thinks it's great to showcase the city.

"I think it's something that we should take pride in that major companies, international companies are coming here to film," he said.

During the shoot, select streets will be intermittently closed. Milwaukee Police officers are helping to facilitate the street closures during the shoot and escort the crew from location to location.

On Friday, July 14, the crew will shoot from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will be at the following locations throughout the day:

  • Intersection of North Avenue, Ivanhoe Place and North Farwell Avenue
  • East North Avenue from North Murray Avenue to East Prospect Avenue
  • North Farwell Avenue from East North Avenue to East Thomas Avenue
  • East Ivanhoe Place from North Prospect Avenue to East North Avenue
  • West/East Wells Street from North 2nd Street to North Water Street
  • North Plankinton Avenue from West Wells Street to West Wisconsin Avenue
  • West/East Wisconsin Avenue from North 4th Street to North Milwaukee
  • North Water Street from East Wells Street to East Erie Street
  • East Chicago Street from North Jackson Street to North Water Street
  • North/South 6th Street from West Canal Street to West Florida Street