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Agrimarketing : June 2009
25 Feature Story:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:42 PM Page 26 COVER STORY/continued frompage 25 TIRESWITH A ‘TUDE What TheMeyocks Group delivered were conceptswith an attitude. “We had a lot of ideas and brought in two or three different looks thatwe thought really communicated the brand’s personality,”Head explains. “It’smasculine and hardworking.We wanted to showwhatmade Firestone farmtires different fromother brands in the category.” The creative teamfound its insightwhere youwould expect— in themind of the primary customer. “One of our art directorswas vis- itingwith his dad, a farmoperator, and told himwhat hewasworking on,”Head says. “The dad said, ‘Everyone shows clean tires, but that’s not howthey really look to a farmer.”And hewas right. Farmers don’tArmor-all their tires. Sowe started showing our tires ‘dirty’.” Adding dirt to tires is a small thing, but it gave the tires a certain texture and grittiness that reflected the brand attitudewewanted to share.” Alongwith the dirty tires, the teamadded a two-word sentence to validate the aggressive image. Those words—“Kick Dirt”—accomplished the objective. “We liked ‘Kick Dirt’ forwhat it said to the internal aswell as our external audience,”Head says. “The newapproach really matched our leader in the field staFIRESTONE HERITAGE The Firestone brand is by far the oldest in the farmtire business. In 1932, founderHarvey Firestonewas the firstmanufacturer to design and build a pneumatic tractor tirewith advantages in ride, comfort and performance that encouraged farmers to discard the steelwheels in favor of rubber. Firestone’s original family farmnear Columbiana, OH, remains the nation’s only research, testing and engineering facility devoted to agricultural tires.Ag tire engineers andmarketers also have access to a Bridgestone test track in Texaswhere they can evaluate newdesigns intended for high-speed use. Firestone FarmTiremanufacturing,marketing and sales are centered at the facility in DesMoines, IA. The plant is the largest agriculturalmanufacturing facility in theworldwithmore than 2million square feet under roof. Located near the junction of I-35 and I-80, the plant site also includes a 550,000-square-footwarehouse.And just up the road in nearbyAnkeny is the company’s 858,000 square-foot distribution center. Alongwith Firestone Farmtires, the plant also builds tires for construc- tion and forestry equipment, compact tractors and all-terrain vehicles – more than 700 different types and sizes in all. Tomeet current demand, more than 1,550 employeeswill keep the plant humming around the clock for 347 days this year. AM 26 Agri Marketing s June 2009 The Firestone/Meyocks team(l to r) TomRodgers, Director ofMarketing, Firestone; Kristen Brown, Account TeamLead,Meyocks; Rachel Allinson, Senior Art Director,Meyocks; Joyce Bonish, Communications&AdvertisingManager, Firestone, and JimHead, Creative TeamLead,Meyocks. tus,” Bonish says. “We used ‘Kick Dirt’ in our promotion for the spring of 2005.Andwe named The Meyocks Group our agency of record at that point.” EXTENSIONS,WITH CARE Since then, the client-agency team hasworked carefully to bring the aggressive attitude to every part of Firestone’s communication array. That includes itsweb site— www.firestoneag.com—aswell as trade showdisplays; collateral, public relations and dealermaterials. Headed by Rachel Allinson, Senior Art Director at TheMeyocks Group, the agency also has helped re-design Firestone facilities including signage and itsmain conference room. “We are focused on stewarding the brand across every piecewe do,” Head says. “The visualswe use are always aggressive andwewrite copy so the tone conveys the Firestone brand’smarket-leading perspective.” The consistency also is apparent in the two television spots that Firestone has aired on the RFD-TV network. The first features a panoramic survey of a Firestone tractor tire with a powerful narration.When it debuted onMeredith Corporation’s “TheMachinery Show” in 2007, it was only the second TV spot in FirestoneAg’s 75-year history. TREAD TO TREAD Another example of the brand’smore aggressive nature is a campaign to promote its patented 23-degree tread bar design.When a competitor produced a video that purported to show its 45-degree tread bars out-pulling Firestone FarmTires, the staff took issuewithwhat they believedwas an unfair test. “We have years and years of research that shows our 23-degree tread design outperforms 45-degree tread designs in normalNorth American soil conditions,” says Tom Rodgers, Director ofMarketing for Firestone farmtires. “We decided to
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