Michelin celebrates the cold

The tire co shows how a safe drive can lead to a more exciting winter with the launch of a new platform.

With the cold creeping in, Michelin wants to help Canadians get out more and celebrate the winter months with a new platform and contest.

The new “Embrace Winter” platform is launching with the “Storm of Surprises” contest. Until February, six Canadians who visit an authorized Michelin dealer will win a $2,500 gift card towards winter activities, like vacations or winter sports. People can also enter on the Michelin website to win one of 10 $250 gift cards.

To promote the contest and the launch of the platform, Michelin surprised customers who came in to have winter tires put on their vehicles. When they went to pick up their cars, not only did it have four Xi tires on it, but they were surprised with a trunk full of gifts. Their reactions were captured for a video currently being pushed on YouTube.

Michelin worked with CRI on the video and retail activations, Nurun on digital elements, Ketchum on PR and Mediacom on media for the new platform. It will also be promoted through media partners  Sportsnet, Télé-Québec and ICI Radio-Canada Télé.

Marc Lavallée, marketing manager for Michelin North America Canada, says the idea of “Embrace Winter” takes the safety message it has used in its past winter tire campaigns and gives it an emotional side by connecting it with living in Canada.

“The message we want to send is that winter is a long season in Canada only because we limit what we do,” Lavallée says. “There are plenty of things we can get out and do, and Michelin can help you safely and confidently get out to wherever it is those things are happening, even if it is the lake or the mountain. Instead of thinking of going South, let’s stay in Canada and be inspired about what we already have to enjoy the season.”

Michelin will also bring educational events to teens in Montreal and Toronto this November, teaching them how to drive safely in icy winter conditions.

For the time being, the video for “Storm of Surprises” is the only one currently planned, but Lavallée says it is the beginning of a long-term plan for the brand’s winter campaigns.

“This is phase one, and next year we are going to push the concept to the next level and see if this will work for us beyond that,” he says. “But this is something we want to work around. We’re already asking our agencies to look at response to what we’re doing now to. This is big and important to us, so we’re taking a smart approach.”