NEW YORK: Leading tire producer Michelin is putting its brand mascot, the marshmallow-looking "Michelin Man" front and center in a new brand awareness campaign for its tires. The global integrated campaign launched October 6 with a press conference in New York.
Supported by social media and PR, "The Right Tire Changes Everything" focuses on the safety, longevity, and fuel-efficiency of Michelin tires and highlights the Michelin Man more prominently than recent efforts. It is also the first time, Michelin has produced a global ad campaign.
"We think, in a difficult economic environment, this type of message is very powerful and important to consumers," said Scott Clark, EVP of Michelin North America and COO of Michelin Americas Small Tires, who called the effort its "most integrated and comprehensive campaign we've launched." He said Michelin will spend $20 million on the campaign in the North American market in the fourth quarter, not including the PR support.
Michelin will be hosting media events in various countries as the campaign launches worldwide, and is working with Hill & Knowlton, its AOR for the passenger tire business, on consumer and media outreach in the US.
"We have a very specific consumer target that focuses on premium products and that's where we want to grow our business," said Clark.
Michelin is number one in terms of global market share of the tire industry with Bridgestone less than a percentage point away.
"The PR strategy is really to get the journalists, specialized media, and general media to understand the strategy behind this campaign," Fabienne de Brébisson, worldwide VP of media relations for Michelin, told PRWeek. "It's very much centered on the product and the tire to show that Michelin tires are different from the others."
Online, the campaign introduced a new microsite, and launched its first official Facebook page and YouTube channel. The Michelin Man is also on Twitter, where he has nearly 2,000 followers. The Integer Group is helping with social media outreach and TBWA created the new advertisements.