Pirelli Tire Seeks Wider U.S. Track

WestWayne won the Pirelli Tire creative and media account last week with a pitch that expands the appeal of the Italian brand beyond the sports-car set, stressing safety, durability and performance.

“Historically, people have seen Pirelli as tires for your Porsche, but they need to take the credibility established in the high-end racing-tire market and broaden it to [drivers] of Volvos and Lexus,” said Jeff Johnson, the Atlanta shop’s president and CEO.

Previous ads, created by Pirelli’s European agency, Armando Testa in Torino, Italy, focused solely on the brand’s performance.

WestWayne won the estimated $8 million North America duties following a review with incumbent Brighton Advertising, Orange, Calif. WestWayne had a leg up because of its year-old alliance with Testa and its proximity to Pirelli’s U.S. headquarters in Rome, Ga., reps for the agency and client said. (As part of the alliance, Testa will partner with WestWayne to pitch U.S. business.)

The two shops will work closely on the broadcast and print campaign, which will break in the fall.

Billings are a fraction of the estimated $60 million spent on ads last year by the No. 1 U.S. brand, Goodyear, the estimated $40 million spent by Michelin and the estimated $30 million spent by Bridgestone/ Firestone. But Pirelli’s ad budget represents an increased commitment to the U.S. market. Last year, it spent $1 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Brighton primarily bought and placed media in enthusiast and trade publications for ads created by Testa. The shop also created collateral, dealer incentives and promotions for the U.S. market, which WestWayne will do as well. WestWayne will also handle trade creative and do interactive work.