CUMBERLAND, Md.-The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. has created a new advertising campaign for its Kelly-brand dealers directed at women tire buyers. The program, which is an addition to Kelly's usual advertising effort, reflects the changing retail marketplace, where women are a growing factor in the tire buying equation, according to Lee Fiedler, Kelly president and CEO. About 40 percent of tire buyers today are women, he said.
The print campaign features a two-page, four-color ad that addresses basic aspects of tire buying and the lines Kelly offers. The ads invite women tire buyers to stop by any Kelly dealership and pick up a free tire guide full of helpful tips.
Earlier this year, at the tire maker's regional dealer meetings, Mr. Fiedler said he challenged dealers to make their showrooms places women will want to visit and to treat women customers with respect and dignity.
He said the company learned its dealers found women customers were a ``hard sell'' because they weren't used to dealing with them.
``There was a feeling we had to be more friendly to the female shopper coming in, because a tire store is not a place where she wants to go, and we didn't want to chase her away,'' Mr. Fiedler said.
The company tested the program, including running women's car care clinics, at its own company stores before announcing the campaign to Kelly dealers.
Kelly will run two ads each in the April and May issues of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, with a circulation of 7.6 million per issue, and in the April and June issues of Woman's Day, circulation 4.5 million. Kelly estimates this effort will reach more than 40 million readers.
The ads feature Kelly's new spokeswoman, Lorianne Crook, co-host of the Crook & Chase Show on TNN for the past several years.
The campaign targets 25- to 54-year-old women tire buyers and matches lifestyles to specific Kelly tires, the company said.