T&O Breaks ‘Fast’ Work for Wheelmaker

LOS ANGELES Inspired in part by the hit movie “The Fast And The Furious” an extensive–and slightly provocative–new print effort from the T&O Group seeks to capitalize on the renewed interest in the aftermarket for car wheels.

The $5 million push for American Racing Wheels Co. will break primarily in auto buff magazines next month with work that includes a series of highly stylized photos along with captions designed to tweak the imagination of the young male target audience. At least 10 ads for the Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based client will appear with each focusing on one of its four product lines.

For example, an ad for the Epic line of wheels, which the agency said is targeted toward “up scale hip hoppers,” features a tight shot of the product and slyly suggests that new shiny chrome wheels may be sexually arousing. “You’ll be torn between mounting them or putting them on you car,” reads the ad. Another says that the addition of new wheels is “like buying your car a lapdance on its birthday.” There is also an ad that suggests buyers will “Want to lick the break dust off them.”

“It’s about sex and its about primeval urges,” said Scott Montgomery T&O’s executive creative director. “The movie The Fast and The Furious did a lot for this category. That is the type of emotion we were trying to tap into,” he said.

Ads for the other product lines are not quite as racy but still have an edge. One for the American Racing line, which the agency said is targeted toward “mainstream men,” has a photo of a wheel splashing through a puddle. The caption, which appear as though it is engraved out of a steel plaque reads “It’s kind of like a beauty queen who mud wrestles for the talent competition.”

Montgomery noted that the client, which is 47 years old and sells it products in 30 countries, took great pains to educate the agency’s creative team about the products and the target audience for each line. “They may be guys in their `50’s but they know what the young guys want.”