Dunlop to Stress Performance

Dunlop Tire will stress its position as a preferred tire pro vider to high-performance automakers, as well as the brand’s racing heritage, in an upcoming North American repositioning campaign, said Cathy Fischer, chief marketing officer for Dunlop parent Goodyear.

Arnold in Boston last week was added to Dunlop’s roster, following a review, 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.

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. U.S. spending was only $2-3 million in 2001 and about $1 million in 2000, according to CMR.

Marcus Thomas in Cleveland has handled domestic retail chores for Dunlop and “will be involved to some degree” in upcoming ads, Fischer said, although the shop’s role remains to be defined.

Recent U.S. ads were tagged, “Drivers know,” which 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, still in development, will include broadcast, print and interactive, along with in-store executions and traffic-building promotionals, Kelly said. Doubling sales in the next two to three years is the goal, he said.

“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.”