Michelin Effort Spotlights Product Longevity

Michelin

Michelin, which launched its first-ever global ad campaign last fall, is in the middle of rolling out -- so to speak -- the next phase of the effort.

The latest element of the campaign, "The Right Tire Changes Everything," borrows a theme that is common these cash-strapped days in other segments of the after-market business. It is not that often one sees it in the tire segment, however, where the focus is usually on safety, fuel-economy benefits, weather benefits, and performance.

But as companies in the motor oil, coolant, and of course, auto OEM arenas have done, Michelin is touting the virtues of product longevity. The new spot puts the Michelin Man in an animated world where the inhabitants face challenges brought on by failing to use Michelin tires. The rotund mascot helps motorists replace their current tires with Michelin tires that he extracts from his own body -- the message being that his tires help drivers to go farther.

The campaign focuses on Michelin HydroEdge tires, the company's 90,000-mile warranty, and Michelin's assertion that the tires last 3,000 miles longer than a leading competitor. The company says 33,000 miles is about 10 times across the country, and that the average American puts about 13,500 miles per year on their tires.

The ads in the new campaign are running on television, print media and on the Web. The company has been running the new spot, which breaks this week, on Facebook, and its YouTube channel.

The global campaign, via TBWA, hit the road last October, first in the U.S. then in 55 other countries starting early this year. In addition to longevity, the campaign also focuses on the safety and fuel-saving benefits of the tires.

Michelin is one of the two largest tire companies. The other one, Bridgestone, is also upping the ante. The company, which is deeply involved in sports sponsorships, has signed a five-year deal extending its relationship with the National Hockey League, which includes title sponsorship of the NHL Winter Classic.

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