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GOODYEAR INFINITRED LAUNCH IS BIGGEST EVER

AKRON, Ohio, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The tire industry's biggest product launch since Aquatred will make Goodyear's new Infinitred the most talked about tire in America within the next two months, according to the company.

A television, radio and print advertising blitz supporting the first passenger car tire to carry a manufacturer's lifetime treadwear limited warranty will begin next week, said Al Eastwood, Goodyear's vice president of marketing.

"By mid-April, 98.5 percent of U.S. households will have seen or heard of Infinitred," he said.

Television advertising for Infinitred tips off with Sunday's contest between the NBA's Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns. The commercial uses computerized visualization technology to leverage Goodyear's Aquatred success and build upon its position as the leader in wet traction. It features a long stretch of roadway that is transformed into an Infinitred tire.

"This Infinitred spot, in our pre-launch evaluations, tested better than our benchmark Aquatred, Eagle Aquatred and Wrangler Aquatred commercials," said Eastwood. "It reminds consumers of Goodyear's Aquatred technology and communicates the Infinitred messages about durability, traction and its warranty."

Goodyear's brand equity, he said, is the highest in history and leads the tire industry. "Consumers recognize Goodyear as being No. 1 in wet traction, safety, quality and value."

The first TV commercial will be followed by prime time, news and late night ads, including spots on the NCAA basketball tournament March 14. The next day, March 15, full-page color ads will run in both USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Television advertising continues with the commercial airing in prime time, late night, racing and sports programming. The programs include ER, Seinfeld, ESPN Sports Center, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and TNT basketball, as well as the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly news broadcasts.

Radio comes into play March 17 when retail spots featuring basketball analyst Dick Vitale, and his unique delivery, hit the airwaves. "Hey baby, it's here. March Madness at participating Goodyear outlets across the country," he recorded for the spot. "While you're there, check out this phenom, Goodyear's revolutionary new Infinitred. It's the only tire with a lifetime treadlife limited warranty. That's awesome baby."

Picking up on the basketball theme, Goodyear will have a full-color, two-page spread in the NCAA Final Four issue of Sports Illustrated April 7. A personalized coupon insert will offer subscribers $40 off a set of four Infinitred tires. Infinitred ads also will run in such magazines as Motor Trend, Time, Money, Better Homes & Gardens, Business Week and Fortune.

Goodyear will begin a second TV spot in April that brings back familiar Goodyear commercial icons, such as water skiers pulled by a car. A third commercial, in which an Aquatred turns into an Infinitred, will appear on broadcasts of the Summer Olympics. Two additional commercials have been produced so that Goodyear dealers can add their personalized messages and make media buys on local television.

Additional pieces of the effort include billboards that proclaim "It's here! Infinitred." and feature photos of the tire and the Goodyear blimp as well as an extensive array of retail newspaper ads, point-of- purchase and window displays for Goodyear outlets.
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/CONTACT: Keith Price of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, 216-796-1863/

(GT)

CO: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company ST: Ohio IN: AUT ADV SU:

BG-TC -- CLF004 -- 1495 03/08/96 09:03 EST
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Date:Mar 8, 1996
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