Michelin and its PR agency partner Ketchum won a Best in Corporate Social Responsibility award at the 2019 PRWeek Awards for Michelin’s campaign “Teens Prove Their #StreetTread”.
The tire manufacturer received the award at a ceremony held on March 21. The campaign built upon Michelin’s longstanding cause, “Beyond the Driving Test”, which was created in 2014 to provide novice drivers with consistent information about tire safety in their training materials.
Studies have revealed that poor maintenance of tires was a key factor when it came to car accidents being the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States. In order to make teens take tire safety seriously, Michelin’s subsidiary in North America, Michelin North America came up with a connection between sneakers and tires. The campaign was meant to make teenagers aware about how proper air pressure and tread depth can save lives.
Commenting in this need for awareness, Joanie Martin, chief administrative officer for Michelin North America said that it was a national tragedy that car crashes continued to be the top killer of teenagers in the United States. Though many teenagers say that they are aware about the simple steps they need to take to ensure that their tires are safe, very few use this knowledge. Hence, Michelin felt that it was time to help teen drivers make the transition from awareness to life-saving action.
For the “Teens Prove Their #StreetTread” campaign, Michelin teamed up with Vans for production of a limited-edition #StreetTread sneaker that was inspired by the iconic Michelin Man. The sneaker was launched during the Memorial Day weekend, which marked the beginning of 100 deadliest days in summer which are considered to be particularly dangerous when it comes to teen drivers. Teens were charged just a penny for “buying” the shoes with the provision that they should use the coin to check the tread depth of their tires. The promotion for the campaign explained how a penny could be used to determine the amount of tread in a tire.
Michelin used a giant sneakermobile that traveled from California to New York City to promote the campaign and create buzz on social media channels. Michelin also created anticipation for the campaign through teaser content from Michelin and Vans-affiliated channels. The van’s journey ended with an official launch party at Vans’ NYC Union Square location, where the limited-edition shoe was officially revealed to media and hundreds of passersby.
As part of the campaign, over 4,000 teens checked their tires and submitted photos through the #StreetTreadContest. Of these, 100 teen drivers were chosen to receive the exclusive, limited-edition sneakers last fall. The Michelin team also rolled out #StreetTread events at high schools and hosted a tire safety pep rally during National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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