Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations: Drive a Firestone

Category: Automotive - Aftermarket
Brand/client: Firestone / Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
Lead agency: Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide
Contributing agencies: Optimedia and Razorfish

State of the marketplace & brand's business

A declining iconic brand stuck in a category traffic jam

When Harvey Firestone started his tire and rubber company in 1901, his pioneering spirit and innovative mind helped build the foundations for a truly mobile nation and establish an iconic brand synonymous with the spirit of progress in America.

But by 2012, Firestone was getting lost in the noise of a commoditized category. People thought of the tire and maintenance categories as a burden – high amounts of risk with little potential for meaningful reward. People avoid thinking about tires and/or maintenance until they absolutely have to; and when they do, they only see anxiety, pain and frustration. As a result, everyone in the category focused on "fix it and forget it" messaging and value promotions. Not only was the category sluggish, Firestone was facing tough times. The brand faced 90 straight weeks of declining sales and was losing awareness to its competitors Michelin and Goodyear.1

Strategic communications challenge