LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2006) — From now on, “It's Bridgestone or nothing.”
That's the message Bridgestone-brand customers and dealers will be hearing for the foreseeable future, according to presentations made to dealers attending Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNT) L.L.C.'s dealer meeting in Las Vegas.
“No longer will Bridgestone be the best-kept secret in the tire business,” said Rob VanGorden of Richards Group Inc., the Dallas-based advertising and public relations agency hired by BFNT earlier this year.
In disclosing the slogan, Mr. VanGorden rattled off a series of either/or statements: “It's lead or follow. It's win or lose. It's Bridgestone or nothing.” In the information screened at the meeting, the apostrophe in “It's” was a red triangle reminiscent of the red triangle in the Bridgestone “B” corporate logo.
Richards Group will be positioning the Bridgestone brand at “drivers with higher standards,” he said, “a premium tire brand engineered to get the best out of vehicles.” The Bridgestone brand is pitched currently under “Passion for excellence.”
BFNT did not preview any new Bridgestone commercials—Richards Group was awarded the BFNT account in mid-July—but said a new campaign should debut in the first quarter next year. Other Richards Group's clients include Hyundai Motor Corp., Accor North America/Motel 6, Corona and Corona Light beer brands and Home Depot USA Inc.
BFNT has not settled yet on a new slogan for the Firestone brand, but Mr. VanGorden indicated it would include a reference to pride. “Then. Now. Forever. Proud. Firestone” was a work in progress screened for the audience.
“It's time to put the Firestone brand back up on the mantel,” he said, noting the new brand strategy will be directed at drivers “who value substance over hype.”
The current Firestone slogan is “A tradition of innovation.”
The presentation of distinct Bridgestone- and Firestone-brand marketing strategies echoed statements made at BFS's Bizcon meeting earlier this year for its commercial tires.
“It's our obligation to you (the independent dealer) to build our brands…to differentiate them from each other and the competition,” said Phil Pacsi, president of North American consumer marketing at BFNT.
Click here for a photo gallery from the BFS dealer meeting in Las Vegas.