AKRON (Aug. 31, 2001)—Goodyear is launching a new advertising campaign in September with the theme, “On the Wings of Goodyear.”
The new approach replaces the “Serious Freedom” campaign the tire maker began in the mid-1990s and had used through 2000. That campaign had been developed by Goodyear's former ad agency, J. Walter Thompson, in Detroit, which severed ties with the tire maker earlier this year after a 15-year relationship.
Goodyear's new ad new agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco developed the new “Wings” campaign and creative direction, which focuses on the everyday journeys of people's lives and uses a broad spectrum of emotion, the tire maker said.
Television advertising will begin over the Labor Day weekend with three different journeys on a variety of prime time, sports and cable programming. Six different print ads will be used in a broad range of weekly and monthly consumer magazines.
“It's a dramatic departure from the type of product and technology-focused advertising that Goodyear has used in the past, and quite frankly, a departure for the tire industry itself,” said John Polhemus, president of Goodyear's North American operations who headed the agency selection process that chose Goodby in April.
To help establish the future direction of its advertising effort, Goodyear said it looked to consumers using qualitative and quantitative testing.
“Consumer input was critical in our decisions every step of the way,” said Cathryn Fischer, the tire maker's chief global marketing officer. “While consumers believe tires are very important, they don't think tire companies do a very good job of differentiating their products. They look at tire advertising simply as a lot of tires.
“What we took from that was, it really wasn't about the tires. It was more about the role that tires, specifically Goodyear tires, play in people's lives.”
That led to the focus on journeys.
Goodyear said the first wave of television ads center on three common themes—carpooling, the morning commute and family vacations—evoking emotions ranging from serious to humorous.
In the carpooling spot, for example, a voice says, “she's not your daughter, but if you give her a ride home, she might as well be.” The commercial highlighting a family vacation depicts four different families in four languages responding to the age-old children's question, “Are we there yet?”
The On the Wings tagline ties the TV and print campaigns together, Goodyear said, noting that consumers who were asked about the theme responded with comments like “reliable, protection, safe and even the driver's guardian angel.”
Mr. Polhemus said Goodyear shared the new campaign and direction with more than 20,000 company employees and retailers throughout North America over the past 10 days and received an “incredible response.”
“We wanted our people to understand and feel good about the direction we were heading, to come on board for a much broader journey