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Michelin Steers Brand Toward Success with Millennials


How can a tire brand connect with the next generation of drivers?

That’s what Michelin asked themselves before launching “Beyond the Driving Test” this summer – and earning some major credibility among teenage drivers. While their competition appears to have ignored this group, Michelin partnered with hit pop band “5 Seconds of Summer” to get the attention of their target audience. Once they had it, the brand didn’t just try to sell them something; rather, they taught them valuable life skills that will hopefully result in customers for life.

Here’s the brand strategy:

Timely Launch: Michelin launched the “Beyond the Driving Test” campaign after examining driving manuals from all 50 states and finding only two with acceptable information on tire safety. The brand also conducted a survey of parents and teens, and discovered that a quarter have never checked their tires at all. This presented opportunity.

Utilize Interactive Safety Demonstrations: Michelin enlisted the 5 Seconds of Summer to play tire safety videos before their shows in the summer and fall. Additionally, street teams of tire safety professionals held safety demonstrations outside the concert venues, offering hands-on education to the teen attendees.

Leverage Social Media: Teenagers are constantly online. Michelin knew that to target a younger audience, they would have to go to where they are. The brand produced a series of entertaining YouTube clips that were heavy on humor and information.

The tire brand hopes to connect as strongly with Millennials as it does with the road.
The tire brand hopes to connect as strongly with Millennials as it does with the road.

The campaign works because it’s both creative but also informative. Michelin taught many teens how to check the pressure of tires – and when it comes time for them to buy tires, they will likely remember that and head over to Michelin’s website. Nervous parents will also appreciate the brand’s focus on safety, and hopefully that appreciation will translate into sales.

“Beyond the Driving Test” has been a statistical success for Michelin: virtually, with over 1.5 million YouTube views; and physically, since more than 300,000 concert attendees experienced the brand. The campaign also caught the eye of social media outlets, resulting in nearly 120 million impressions.

Hopefully for Michelin, this will put the brand firmly in the driver’s seat as they look to expand their market share with Millennials and their parents.






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