Published on May 6, 2014

'I Am Yokohama' ads break cover

(Yokohama Tire Corp. photo)
Todd Henderson, INK Digital president and co-founder, said the agency used CGI "to dramatize the experience of a Yokohama tire coming to life. Real-world inspiration was used for the tires, including a complex modeling process that allowed us to create photo-realistic tires electronically."

FULLERTON, Calif. (May 6, 2014) — Yokohama Tire Corp.’s new advertising campaign, “I Am Yokohama,” tries to set the brand apart from the competition by making the tire a driver’s “trusty co-pilot,…the translator who interprets the road.”

“We feel that this campaign separates us from the masses,” said Andrew Briggs, YTC director, marketing and product planning. “We wanted to get people to see tires and the technology that goes into them in a completely different way, so the campaign tells everything from the tire’s perspective.”

The campaign, which debuted recently on cable and network television channels, includes two commercials that use computer-generated imagery to highlight various elements of tire components and design and how they interact with the vehicle to give the driver a safe, confident feel behind the wheel.

YTC also created a microsite to complement the TV ads and is developing print, online and social media versions as well.

The first of two commercials, “The Co-Pilot,” has been airing nationally the past few weeks, YTC said. It can also be viewed on the tire maker’s YouTube website.

The second spot, “The Original,” will launch in May with a message that the company said is relatable to all adults.

The “I Am Yokohama” concept was created by Irvine, Calif.-based INK Digital Agency, YTC’s agency of record for digital communications.

“We adopted a visual approach to validate Yokohama’s technology positioning,” said Todd Henderson, INK president and co-founder. “We used CGI to dramatize the experience of a Yokohama tire coming to life. Real-world inspiration was used for the tires, including a complex modeling process that allowed us to create photo-realistic tires electronically.”

The Co-Pilot spot, for instance, delivers this message:

“I am the trusty co-pilot. The moving part that moves all 2,000 parts. I am the translator who interprets the road. The permission to take the scenic route. And the guide that gets you there safely.

“I am not just any tire. I am a Yokohama. And this is what I’m made of.”

The message is delivered over a video of what appears to be a tire being produced organically, from the weaving of the casing cords to the application of the sidewalls and tread.

The company is offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the spot on YouTube.

Yokohama will continue to roll out “I Am Yokohama” campaign elements throughout the year, said Alan Holtschneider, YTC senior manager, marketing communications.

“This is our most aggressive branding campaign to date. It is much bolder, more direct in delivering our technology-focused message to enthusiasts and new audiences alike, and will have a wide-reaching run schedule across the country.”

YTC did not disclose a budget supporting the launch.

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