Published on May 16, 2014

Bowen to pitch DriveGuard in new Bridgestone campaign

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 16, 2014) — Bridgestone Americas has tapped Julie Bowen, an Emmy award-winning actress and star of the ABC comedy Modern Family, to be featured in its new DriveGuard tire ad campaign.

The advertisements are designed to appeal to women, mothers and safety-minded drivers, Bridgestone said, and will depict Ms. Bowen avoiding the worry, frustration and inconvenience associated with flat tires by equipping her car with the company’s DriveGuard run-flat tires.

The television ad campaign premiered May 15 during the season finale of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The debut ad features Ms. Bowen on an “everyday adventure” with a tire engineer from Bridgestone.

Bridgestone said a 30-second spot titled “Birthday” and a 15-second spot called “Mess with the World” will appear throughout the campaign, which is scheduled to run through September. Social media engagement with Ms. Bowen and an integrated print and marketing campaign including point-of-purchase, radio and digital will support the series of broadcast ads.

Bridgestone did not say what it’s budgeting for the campaign.

“We know women are making more family purchasing decisions today, and Julie’s enthusiasm and sense of humor about life really connect with strong, smart and bold women,” said Erik Seidel, vice president of brand management for Bridgestone.

“Julie provides us with the perfect voice to communicate our new DriveGuard tires as a solution for safety-minded drivers who want to stay in control of their day.”

(Bridgestone Americas video)
In Bridgestone's "Birthday" commercial, actress Julie Bowen drives over a puncture strip but her vehicle's DriveGuard run-flat tires keep rolling to get her to a birthday party.

The DriveGuard ad campaign was developed with Publicis Hawkeye, a Dallas-based, full-service advertising agency that is part of Publicis Worldwide’s global network.

“Ads in the category tend to primarily focus on the negative: potholes, thunderstorms, road hazards and babies in danger,” said Julia Melle, SVP Group creative director, Publicis Hawkeye. “Bridgestone’s campaign redirects the focus — and conversation — to the positive: how tires help their customers keep going in their everyday, busy, exciting lives.”

Bridgestone said DriveGuard tires give drivers the ability to continue driving up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) at a maximum speed of 50 mph after a puncture or loss of pressure occurs. The tire is the first full line of mass-market replacement run-flat tires available for coupes, sedans and wagons not originally equipped with run-flat technology, the firm added.

The tire maker is offering DriveGuard tires in the U.S. and Canada and with either a 50,000-mile (80,000-kilometer) or 60,000-mile (100,000-kilometer) treadwear warranty, though it did not explain why there are two different warranties.

The tire launches with 32 sizes available in 15- to 19-inch rim diameters and in H, V and W speed ratings, Bridgestone said, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price starting at $123.99. Sizes range from 215/55RF16 to 245/40RF19.

Bridgestone cautions that the DriveGuard "is not currently available for CUVs, SUVs, minivans, vans or any vehicle without a tire pressure monitoring system."

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