KEEPING THE TIRE ROLLING for Goodyear

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KEEPING THE TIRE ROLLING

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Industry Tires
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY
Product/Service: ASSURANCE FUEL MAX TIRE
Senior Vice President, Global Communications: Chuck Sinclair (Goodyear)
Vice President Public Relations and Communications, North American Tire: Ed Markey (Goodyear)
Public Relations Manager, North American Tire: Jim Davis (Goodyear)
Brand Manager: Mark Cherveney (Goodyear)
Assistant Vice President: Geoffrey Phelps (Coyne Public Relations)
Vice President: Joe Gargiulo (Coyne Public Relations)
Account Executive: John Gramuglia (Coyne Public Relations)
Chief Executive Officer: Tom Coyne (Coyne Public Relations)
President: Rich Lukis (Coyne Public Relations)
Media placement: TV - CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, etc. - 1 March 2009
Media placement: Print - USA Today, The New York Times, Associated Press, etc. - 1 March 2009

Summary of the Campaign
As the US economy collapsed, drivers sought more fuel efficiency from their tires. In an unprecedented move, Goodyear decided to replace the entire Assurance tire line – that had been launched only 12 months earlier – with a new, identically priced Assurance Fuel Max tire in 2009. This innovative new line of tires would offer consumers 27 percent better rolling resistance, with sizes fitting more than 80 percent of target vehicles on the road. To support the launch of the new Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, the PR team developed a comprehensive, multi-phased program. The campaign was designed to generate a steady drumbeat of consumer exposure throughout the year. Tactics were specifically tailored so that key Assurance Fuel Max messages were in every story. But as with any campaign, the results are where most determine value, and the Fuel Max PR effort delivered… not just in media stories and Comparative Advertising Value (CAV), but in sales of tires! In addition to generating more than 4,900 stories, 132+ million consumer impressions and a CAV greater than USD 2 million – delivering a better than eight to one ROI — Fuel Max broke records, selling 1 million units faster than any other tire in Goodyear’s history.

The Goal
The primary objective was to garner nationwide awareness for the launch and consumer availability of the tire, and to help differentiate the new line from the competition. The campaign’s success would also be measured in how well the tires sold in 2009. Based on the fuel efficiency message and mid-tier positioning of the tire, the target audience was the widest demographic possible. Understanding that fuel efficiency could not be 'felt' by media during a typical driving event, the team got creative with the strategy and "Going farther with less gas" became the key message to explain the tire’s benefits.

Results
Fuel Max broke records - selling 27 percent ahead of plan within the first three months. In 2009, Goodyear sold 1 million Fuel Max units faster than any other consumer tire in their history. Fuel Max has rolled to the forefront of the fuel efficient conversation, landing stories with top media including USA Today (twice), The New York Times, Associated Press, Today, CNN Headline News, ESPN and MSNBC and more. Media saturation reached the local level, with hundreds of television and print hits in top markets from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. The campaign generated more than 4,900 stories, 132+ million consumer impressions and a CAV greater than usd 2 million – delivering a better than eight to one ROI. Prior to Fuel Max, Goodyear was never part of fuel-efficient tire stories; Goodyear has now become the first call for media covering the topic.

Execution
The PR team kicked off the "Consumer Launch" by saturating the news of the day when young Tyler delivered a three-car-length upset of champ Greg Biffle. Aggressive local and national pitching and other tactics (SMT, B-Roll, ANR, social media, etc.) helped deliver more than 2,750 stories and 53.8 million consumer impressions. An ongoing campaign of local market outreach, wire releases and national product outreach delivered an additional 1,250+ stories and 19 million impressions. In August, Fuel Max would 'Go for the Record', smashing the 2008 Guinness world record for gas mileage by 15.5 percent and delivering 235 stories and 49 million consumer impressions via local media, national newsfeed outreach, wire release and New York media tour. Into September, the team was 'Keeping the Tire Rolling' via ongoing consumer and automotive press outreach, fall car care activation and targeted blogger outreach, leading to 250 stories and 5 million consumer impressions.

The Situation
The Goodyear Rubber & Tire Company is one of the world’s largest tire companies. In February 2008, Goodyear launched its new Assurance passenger tire line in the mid-tier category – the largest tire segment in the industry. But as the US economy collapsed, drivers sought more fuel efficiency from their tires. Goodyear immediately began developing a fuel-efficient tire to respond to the rapid change in consumer preference. In an unprecedented move, Goodyear decided to replace the entire Assurance tire line – that had been launched only 12 months earlier – with a new, identically priced Assurance Fuel Max tire in 2009.

The Strategy
The PR team developed a comprehensive, multi-phased programme designed to excite the industry, trade and retailers, burst onto the consumer scene with a huge bang, and continue a steady drumbeat of consumer exposure throughout the year. Detailed plans were developed to generate a series of news pegs and events to garner print, broadcast and online coverage on a national level. From the exciting Fuel Max Challenge, which pitted 15-year-old female Soap Box champion Tyler Shoff against NASCAR champ Greg Biffle in the ultimate race of fuel efficiency, and local market seasonal outreach delivering fuel-saving tips and product advice via local Goodyear Dealers, to shattering the Guinness World Record for fuel economy, all outreach tactics were specifically tailored so that the key Assurance Fuel Max messages were the story, or indivisibly linked to the news hook. The phases included 'Consumer Launch', 'Go for the Record' and 'Keeping the Tire Rolling'.