With "Cars 2" hitting cinemas this month, it isn't surprising that a tire manufacturer is getting in on the action. Goodyear is launching a campaign this week integrated with the Disney/Pixar release -- an effort that includes advertising, events, a full makeover of Goodyear's consumer Web site at GoodyearTires.com, and even a rebranding of the Goodyear blimp.
The Akron, Ohio-based company says this is the first time it has totally revamped its Web site to reflect a cross-promotional activation around an entertainment property or brand.
"We feel the transformation of the Web site is an attention-grabber for site visitors, exhibiting some fun," Garth Ely, Goodyear brand marketing director, tells Marketing Daily, "but still offering all of the information tire shoppers need in just a click away. Obviously, 'Cars 2' is destined to be a big commercial hit, and we want to show consumers that Goodyear is intimately involved."
The effort, via Digitas, also plays along with the brand name of the tires "worn" by the Lightning McQueen sports car. As in the first movie, they are called "Lightyear" tires, a double-play on words since it represents a nod to Pixar's Buzz Lightyear character from the Toy Story movies and also Goodyear. The company has also changed the name on its real blimp and the virtual one on the website to read "Lightyear" instead of "Goodyear."
Says Ely, "Although the tires and the iconic blimp are actually branded Lightyear, we believe viewers recognize the brand connection."
The blimp (the real one) was part of the "Cars 2" premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday. The company flew the "Lightyear" blimp around Hollywood and supplied Goodyear tires to "Tire Town," an activity within the "Cars 2" World Grand Prix Attraction, a 25,000-square-foot outdoor event.
Goodyear supplied the tires for DisneyPixar's "Agents on a Mission" Tour presented by State Farm, featuring life-sized remote-controlled replicas of film stars Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Finn McMissile. Video footage of the cars is part of the movie-themed content on the Web site.
Co-branded television, print and in-cinema ads under Goodyear's "More Driven" campaign include a national print advertorial in FamilyFun and Parenting, TV ads featuring footage from the movie on HGTV, Food and TLC, and in-theater advertising featuring print in-lobby posters, in-lobby Trailervision spots and pre-movie on-screen Screenvision spots.
"This is an opportunity for Goodyear to tell a tire story in a new and, perhaps, unexpected, way," says Ely. "This reinforces why we are using in-theater advertising, in-lobby posters, pre-movie on-screen Screenvision spots and more."
Goodyear is also offering, with select Walmart purchases, downloadable characters for a "Cars 2" video game. A national point-of-purchase effort the company is doing at both Goodyear-owned and -franchised tire dealers includes consumer advertising, value-added offers, on-site signage and in-store materials. Stores will have such "Cars 2" ads and merchandise as tire toppers, table tents, stickers, temporary tattoos, song download cards and movie tickets.