Michelin’s “Teens Prove Their #StreetTread” and its agency partner Ketchum won Best in Corporate Social Responsibility at the 2019 PRWeek Awards.
The program, awarded at a ceremony on March 21, was an extension of Michelin’s longstanding cause, Beyond the Driving Test, created in 2014 to include consistent information about tire safety in training materials for new drivers.
Research revealed that improperly maintained tires were contributing to the No. 1 cause of teen deaths in the U.S. — car accidents. To ensure teens took tire safety seriously, Michelin North America connected the dots between sneakers and tires to ignite kids’ awareness about how proper air pressure and tread depth can save lives.
“The fact that car crashes remain the No. 1 killer of our teens is a national tragedy,” said Joanie Martin, chief administrative officer for Michelin North America. “Many teens say they know the simple steps that make their tires safe, but too few are actually using this knowledge. It’s time to move our teen drivers from awareness to life-saving action.”
For “Teens Prove Their #StreetTread,” Michelin teamed up with Vans for a limited-edition #StreetTread sneaker inspired by the iconic Michelin Man. The launch coincided with Memorial Day weekend, which unofficially starts the 100 deadliest days of the summer for teen drivers. Teens could “buy” the shoes for a penny — as long as they first used the coin to check their tires for proper tread depth. The promo explained how to insert the penny to determine the amount of tread.
A giant sneakermobile traveled from California to New York City to promote the campaign and create social buzz. Meanwhile, teaser content from Michelin and Vans-affiliated channels fueled speculation about it. The journey culminated in an official launch party at Vans’ NYC Union Square location, where the limited-edition shoe was revealed to media and hundreds of passersby.
More than 4,000 teens checked their tires and submitted photos through the #StreetTreadContest. Then, 100 teen drivers were selected to receive the exclusive, limited-edition sneakers last fall. The Michelin team also rolled out #StreetTread events at high schools and hosted a tire safety pep rally during National Teen Driver Safety Week.