Michelin Targets Teens With Tire Safety Campaign

Michelin is offering teen drivers the chance to win college tuition via a social media contest.

As part of its Beyond the Driving Test program and timed to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week, Michelin aims to teach teen drivers and their parents about a serious safety threat and encourage them to act.

The campaign, which includes a video showing teens how to use a penny to check a tire’s tread life, was created by Weber Shandwick (public relations), Your Creative People (social and website) and Havas (media).

To enter, teens can take a photo or video of themselves doing the “Penny Tread Test” or checking their tire pressure and post the image on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, mentioning @MichelinUSA and using #PennyForAFreeRide or on Michelin’s website for the effort. The winner will receive $100,000 for college or vocational school. 



“Teens will see more about our contest both online and through our social platforms,” says Joanie Martin, chief administrative officer of Michelin North America. “Our goal is to really meet them where they are, and ultimately where they engage with others every day.”

Car crashes remain the No. 1 killer of teens in America, according to an analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Specifically, 738 tire-related deaths occur each year. Of the 2.2 million accidents each year involving teen drivers, nearly 300,000 are related to tire issues like worn treads and over- or under-inflated tires.

“Parents and teens should be thinking beyond the driving test as it relates to car and tire safety because car crashes and tire-related accidents pose a real risk for teens,” Martin tells Marketing Daily. "We were surprised to learn that driver education in the United States rarely included tire safety information. Michelin is, at its core, a safety company so we decided that we should take action to help make our teens safer on the road.”

In late 2014, Michelin and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile set a goal of gaining commitments from all 50 U.S. states to include consistent information about tire safety in new driver training materials. That milestone was reached in 2017, more than two years ahead of plan. Today, 38 states include life-saving tire-safety information in their training materials for new drivers.

“Beyond the Driving Test is a social responsibility program rather than a marketing program,” Martin says. “Michelin’s purpose is to help teens understand the importance of tire safety and to motivate them to check their tires frequently. Michelin’s goal with the program is really to reach as many teen drivers as we can.”

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