Doner Takes Control of Goodrich

Print Campaign Unifies Tire Pitches to Consumers, Enthusiasts
DETROIT–Michelin North America’s B.F. Goodrich Tires unit is launching a print campaign for a new brand of tire that it claims is “the highest performance street tire on the road.”
The campaign’s tagline, “Take control,” was first introduced in a TV spot aimed at general consumers last summer. It replaces “When you’re ready to get serious,” which was previously used for the auto enthusiast niche, said Greg Gerfen, senior vice president and management supervisor at Doner, Southfield, Mich., the tire maker’s agency of record.
The ads promote the new G-force T/A family of tires, and appear in February issues of auto enthusiast publications such as Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Road and Track and Vette. Formats include a two-page spread and a four-page insert.
Eliminating separate taglines for general consumer and auto enthusiast campaigns is part of the agency’s umbrella positioning of the B.F. Goodrich brand, Gerfen said.
“Research shows there is great potential for the brand to expand beyond the enthusiast market,” he said. “We felt we needed to unify the communications. When it comes together at retail, there has to be a consistent positioning,” or else customers become confused.
Continuing Doner’s longtime use of monochromatic color schemes for the Akron, Ohio, tire maker’s print ads, the new executions use bright orange or lime green as their dominant colors. The ads capture a vehicle in a skid pattern, with the black tires standing out against the vivid colors.
“Those colors have really become synonymous with the brand,” Gerfen said.
Doner, which has handled print work for the brand directed at auto enthusiasts for the past 10 years, was given the TV assignment last spring after a creative shootout that included Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis.
Goodrich has increased its ad efforts of late, spending $12.3 million on advertising through the first 10 months of 1998, up from total ad spending of $7.5 million for all of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.