SAN DIEGO-Would you buy a light truck tire that can stop a sport utility vehicle as it careens down a specially built ``ski jump'' wet with running water? Goodyear is betting you will after seeing its new television commercial for the recently introduced Wrangler Aquatred light truck tire.
The commercial, which the tire maker calls ``Jump,'' is the Akron firm's way of dramatically demonstrating the wet-traction ability of its newest Aquatred tire. This 30-second spot heads the list of several new commercials Goodyear has planned for 1995 to promote the growing Aquatred family of tires, including the Eagle Aquatred high performance line and the newly introduced Aquatred II.
``1995 will see a dramatic and fresh continuation of our winning wet-traction strategy, with more memorable demonstrations heightened drama and emotion, and an increased emphasis on safety,'' Roger Zwingler, Goodyear's director of marketing communication, told tire dealers attending the company's recent dealer meeting in San Diego.
``Jump'' filmed on Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, features a 4x4 vehicle rolling down a ski jump stopping just before it reaches the edge.
Judging by the reaction of dealers, who saw the spot prior to its debut during the Jan. 29 Super Bowl telecast, the commercial is a hit. Dealers responded with rousing applause after seeing it at the San Diego meeting.
Goodyear said the spot is the highest scoring TV commercial the company has ever tested. It will continue to air throughout the first quarter.
Following ``Jump,'' Goodyear will introduce in early spring another Wrangler Aquatred commercial, called ``Puddles.'' This spot, which will run through May, shows a mother picking up her daughter from school on a rainy day.
The commercial will reinforce the wet traction safety of the Wrangler Aquatred ``not with drama that stops the heart, but with emotion that warms the heart,'' Mr. Zwingler said.
Goodyear also has big advertising plans for Aquatred II, the soon-to-be available successor to the highly acclaimed Aquatred, and for the high performance Eagle Aquatred.
``Aquatred means `safety,' and it creates a halo effect for the entire Goodyear brand,'' Mr. Zwingler said. ``By maintaining our focus on Aquatred's wet traction through 1992, 1993 and 1994, we've kept the fire of Goodyear brand preference burning brightly with a 16-percent increase in overall Goodyear brand preference, while Michelin's brand preference has declined.''
Beginning in the second quarter, Goodyear will launch the first of two Aquatred II commercials emphasizing the tire's wet-weather grip. The initial spot uses the statistic that ``each year more than 1 million accidents occur on wet roads,'' and shows a line of cars driving on a wet surface before simultaneously coming to a stop inches from a wall.
The final commercial touts the wet traction of the Eagle Aquatred, which was introduced last year. This spot will run year-long and features a car speeding through a maze of glass walls without touching them.
To back up these TV commercials, Goodyear plans a ``heavy dose of radio advertising'' plus print media ads and point-of-purchase displays.
Goodyear did not disclose the cost of the commercials. But several Goodyear officials confirmed the company's overall 1995 advertising budget was near the $150 million figure reported recently in Advertising Age magazine.