Do consumers care whether a company has been around since the Year 1? The answer varies, because the prestige of the past (and of the future) is always in flux. At the height of Internet mania a few years ago, the "new economy" future looked great and the "old economy" past looked stodgy. As such, a company like Uniroyal might have done itself more harm than good by emphasizing that it was founded in the same year James Naismith invented basketball. (The ad is slated to appear this month in the program at the NBA's all-star game.) Things are different now that the economy has gone to hell in a handbasket and many fly-by-night companies have gone bust. In this context, Uniroyal's longevity lends plausibility to its claim that the company provides "high-quality tires that are hard-working, affordable and help families get home. Safe and sound." Of course, when companies start to orate about their heritage, they don't always know when to stop. Thus do we get the assertion that "Uniroyal tires have become something of an American tradition." Oh, sure, we carve up a few and eat them for dessert every Thanksgiving.
Erwin-Penland, Greenville, S.C.
Uniroyal division of
Michelin North America, Greenville, S.C.
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