Goodyear Canada counting on a great year with new PR firm

TORONTO: Tire manufacturer Goodyear Canada is launching an

aggressive PR campaign to reintroduce the Dunlop brand to the Canadian


Goodyear tapped Toronto's Environics Communications earlier this summer

in a five-agency run-off to help it with strategic and brand-building

counsel, as well as consult on consumer and dealer initiatives across


Jane Wilcox, PR director for Goodyear Canada, said, "The Dunlop brand

has not been supported for well over 10 - even 15 - years." But the new

effort will be strictly a PR campaign with no advertising. Goodyear's

primary strategy will be to use creative events, and Wilcox added that

the target audience is one of the most difficult to reach: 18- to

39-year-old males.

This is the first time that Goodyear Canada has hired a PR agency.

Everything had been handled internally, Wilcox said, but with such an

aggressive program, the company needed outside help.

Wilcox said there were two major events launching this summer.

"Goodyear's Drive for the Gold" features a Zamboni, an ice-clearing

machine used on skating rinks, that will be retrofitted for it to be

driven across Canada.

The Zamboni will start in September in St. John's, Newfoundland, and

will travel across Canada to Victoria, BC, before heading to Salt Lake

City for the Winter Olympics. The effort will raise money for the

Canadian Hockey Association, which supports youth hockey. Goodyear has

the sponsorship rights to Team Canada, the country's Olympic hockey


The second major event will give Canadians in eight markets the

opportunity to take a spin in a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Wilcox said the

cars will be parked in high-traffic areas to attract attention, and that

passersby will be able to drive the cars that most people only dream

about owning, much less test-driving.

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