For some companies, having strong brand awareness and reputation are absolutely fundamental for business. Brand is the vehicle that allows consumers to distinguish products from that of their competitors, and enables them to gain a sense of loyalty. For these brands, it means creating a brand identity, and reinforcing that idea in the minds of consumers.
In the tire industry, where often peoples’ choice of product is a clear point of preference, it’s important for companies to create a brand identity and consistently reinforce their brand.
Michelin’s latest marketing campaign is both a celebration of the brand’s 125 year history, and a great example of a brand building their equity via integrated digital marketing and consumer engagement.
#MichelinQuest: A Quest For Adventure
Everyone knows the Michelin Man. Not everyone will know him by his name — it’s Bibendum after the Latin ‘to drink’ — but millions of people around the globe are familiar with his iconic image.
Michelin’s 125th anniversary has seen the brand launch a marketing campaign that combines geocaching, social media, and user-driven engagement and content, as a means of reinforcing the brand’s position as one of the foremost tire and rubber manufacturers around the world.
The brand have created a digital treasure hunt, hiding 2,000 Michelin Man tire gauges and encouraging would-be treasure hunters to find, photograph, and share their encounters on social media. The most liked photographs would then put successful treasure hunters in running for a enviable trip to experience Michelin-starred dining in New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, or try their hand at Formula E racing in Miami or Los Angeles.
To participate, users are asked to sign up for a free account on geocaching.com, navigate to their nearest Bibendum hotspot, and once they’ve discovered their concentrically inclined friend, photograph him in as adventurous a light as possible, and share the image on social media.
Users can then continue the fun by giving Bibendum a new hiding place, geocaching their position for fellow geocachers to find.
In an interview with Digiday, Jennifer Smith, Director of Brands for North America at Michelin explained:
“The history of our company is such that we’ve always encouraged providing a better way forward for people. [The Quest for Adventure campaign] seemed like a very natural, fun and engaging way to recognize and celebrate our heritage around mobility, around an activity that is very popular within a passionate group of people.”
When you consider that Michelin is actively celebrating their “heritage for mobility,” it’s no coincidence that the campaign relies on consumers having the use of smartphones. A notable aspect of the campaign is in how it ties together online/offline channels, the outdoors, social media, and photography, by using features that consumers have available on their mobile devices.
It makes for a extremely creative marketing campaign, and the response has been hot. According to Michelin, they received nearly 6,000 requests from geocachers eager to volunteer to hide their tire gauges across the U.S., despite only have 2,000 available.
Don’t be surprised to see bulbous white mascots on your feeds in the next few weeks.
Let us know your thoughts on Michelin’s Quest for Adventure campaign. Do you have any other examples of innovative uses of technology to fuel user engagement?