Arnold, 180 Prevail for Dunlop

Dunlop Tire will tout its position as a preferred equipment provider to high-performance auto makers and stress the brand’s racing heritage in an upcoming North American campaign, said Cathy Fischer, chief marketing officer for Dunlop parent Goodyear.

Following a review that con cluded last week, Arnold, Boston, was added to Dunlop’s roster and charged with crafting ads to meet those specifications. In the same pitch, Amsterdam shop 180 retained European ad duties. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London and New York, was a finalist.

“The original plan was actually to try to get a single global agency,” said Fischer. “But we knew going in that we had a slightly different situation in Europe [where the brand name is well-known] vs. North America.”

Dunlop is expected to spend $25-30 million globally on ads this year, with the big North American push likely to receive the lion’s share, sources said. Spending in the U.S. was only $2-3 million in 2001 and about $1 million in 2000, according to CMR.

Marcus Thomas of Cleveland has handled domestic retail chores for Dunlop and “will be involved to some de gree” in upcoming ads, Fischer said, though the agency’s role remains to be defined.

Recent U.S. ads have been tagged, “Drivers know,” a line that will almost certainly be scrapped as Arnold refines a “highly integrated campaign” it presented to client officials in the pitch, said agency president Fran Kelly.

That campaign, which is in development and slated to appear in the summer, will include broadcast, print and interactive, along with in-store executions and traffic-building promotions, Kelly said. Doubling sales in the next two to three years is the goal, he added.

“What Arnold showed us [during the pitch] was the ability to take the equity of the Dunlop brand and work real closely … with our retail partners to drive the brand and help us build distribution,” Fischer said.

Arnold’s ability to craft highly targeted marketing programs with retailers while simultaneously expanding the brand—similar to its work for Volkswagen of Ame rica—was a key factor in the Havas-owned agency’s selection, she said.

Arnold will confer with Good year lead agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to ensure that “there isn’t cannibalization of customers be tween the two brands,” Fischer said.

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