Posted on March 28, 2016

Michelin's "Beyond the Driving Test" Wins Community Relations Campaign of the Year from PRWeek


Car crashes are the top cause of death among American teens. Nearly 300,000 accidents each year are related to totally avoidable tire issues — worn treads, over- or under-inflation, and the like.

Unfortunately, U.S. teens are not getting vital safety information. Michelin sought to tackle this issue and make an unsexy topic interesting to teens.

In partnership with Ketchum, a video series was launched featuring teen YouTube stars such as Alexis Zall and Brent Rivera in which they’re encouraged to inject their humor and irreverence. The videos were created to springboard off one of the most important moments in any kid’s life — getting a driver’s license. Teens tend to study just enough to pass the driving test; these videos, however, would fill the gaps with mini-tutorials on tire safety.

For example, the penny test was highlighted. You simply place a penny into a groove on the tire where the tread appears lowest. If any part of Abraham Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, your tires have the legal and safe amount of tread. If not, your tires aren’t safe enough.

"A spot-on, authentic campaign to impact a tough-to-impress group," explained one judge.

In addition to teens, parents and state legislators were also crucial audiences. Michelin created a Glove Box Guide on tire safety that parents could share with their kids. Simultaneously, Michelin reached out to all 50 states to encourage the inclusion of tire-safety information in their drivers’ education materials by 2020. A six-state commitment was the objective.

The videos drew more than 1 million viewers, with 359,000 social actions taken with the YouTube stars’ on-line audiences. The number of states providing adequate tire-safety education rose from two to 13, with eight coming directly from Michelin’s campaign.

"This effort fired on all cylinders," explained one judge. "The impact on a policy level was impressive and very likely to make a real difference."


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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America, Inc. ( has more than 21,400 employees and operates 19 major manufacturing plants.