Our objective was clear, but the goal, complex. How do we instill the values of a legendary manufacturer into the modern digital landscape? The Firestone Tires brand already had an incredible legacy dating back to its founder, the Americana dreamer Harvey Firestone, way back in 1900. While his message was about the work, commitment and communal drive in all of us as Americans, it simply wasn't relating as seamlessly with the digital consumer of the 21st Century as the brand required. We needed to speak their language — on their terms. So, we dug deep into the land of influencers — far beyond the fluffy pretty-pictured bloggers — and worked tirelessly to find our potential consumers' voice, their passions, and their excitement.
Through our strategic planning to engage these new consumers and connect with those same brand values over 100 years in the making, we took to a heavily researched and targeted procurement of influencers in various verticals. And they all spoke the same message: work hard, and then go out there have some real fun. We built an amazingly effective influencer campaign through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook not by one single person, but by innovating a small team of action-based, highly engaging activations throughout the summer of 2018.
Before creating an innovative approach to our challenging goals, we first started the march towards connecting the brand's unique voice to the new consumer by looking at what was working. To start, with Firestone's footprint in motorsports, particularly in performance racing, we were already activating quite well through an incredible partnership with IndyCar racing. However, that partnership alone wasn't connecting to the broader audience that we absolutely needed to capture.
We needed to build a strategy around what makes these work-hard, play-hard consumers tick on a day-to-day level — where their passion really lies. So, the goal became: how do we develop a comprehensive plan that hits those passion points with every day, hard-working Americans across their varied interests? To be successful, this campaign wasn't going to work as a one-trick pony. We strategically shied away from dumping a load of money at one recognizable personality, which might have isolated the future of the brand to one talking head. Instead, we built a plan to diversify. A lot. Finding a way to talk with these people, not at them — finding their work-life balance currency.
We found it not in a single place, but rather in many passion points through their adventurous spirit — both out in the great outdoors and in the music that fuels this Americana lifestyle. We aligned with our intended audience by casting a wide net and extending our targeting far beyond what Firestone had been able to reach before. After harvesting our increased brand exposure, we were able to leverage a more refined pool of users who were highly engaged with this content and, as a result, showed an increased interest in our brand. Through using this calculated subsequential targeting, we were able to identify Firestone's untapped audience and serve them content that aligned directly with their lifestyle.
This multi-pronged strategic approach started with a group of off-road enthusiasts known as Team4Runner, who we built a relationship with while they were busy living the life of adventure our potential consumers dreamt about. We carried this extremely engaging content into other lifestyle activations as diverse as professional fisherman, through a group of hand-picked country music artists as well with varying levels of celebrity (Luke Combs, Russell Dickerson, Lanco). After conquering a strategy with some of these fisherman and artists acting as brand influencers for us, we quickly poured our efforts into the realm of raw adventure and travel influencers to source campaign material for Firestone's #FindYourDestination campaign. The cumulative efforts and full-circle approach to targeting our potential brand loyalists were tremendous, and more importantly, it worked…
As a result of our multi-faceted approach, there was incredible growth for Firestone Tires reaching a myriad of previously untapped audiences, even beyond what we had learned from our relationship with racing. It built a new loyalty through their passion points. Through lifestyle imagery, humanizing videos and social conversations with our audiences, we were able to resonate with users and position the brand in a way that related far more closely to their personas than ever before.
Our comprehensive plan garnered nearly 121 million impressions, drove an astounding 23 million engagements overall and even helped land our highest visited day in website history thanks to our influencers. In addition to the huge audiences, the brand was equally as impressed by how quickly we gained traction with consumers. In essence, the formula worked and it even outperformed our internal expectations by crafting a creative brand story and a media strategy that will be leveraged long into the future with Firestone Tires.
Utilizing a prospecting audience to extend our reach and integrate data, we honed in on users who truly align with Firestone's attributes, which led to this overwhelmingly positive sentiment for the brand. Users raved, "proud to be a part of this and to see Firestone taking notice…" and many others showed high intent by actually purchasing these products: "Putting a set on right now!" and "I put MT2's on my jeep and they ride phenomenally."
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