'Consumers open to new advertising,' says Toyo

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"Consumers are open to new retailers, new pitches and new advertising, unlike any time I've ever seen in my life," says Steve Hutchinson, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.'s vice president of marketing.


Dealers who are willing to shake up their advertising in order to capitalize on shifting consumer loyalties and preferences will win new business, he believes. For instance, "if I was a tire dealer, I would cut my newspaper advertising."


Toyo recently announced tweaks to its advertising program. "We're getting more and more into college sports," says Hutchinson.


Toyo has purchased nearly 40 TV spots on major college football broadcasts, starting this month and running through November. The company will then advertise on PAC-10 NCAA basketball broadcasts through March.


At the retailer level, Toyo plans to ship new point-of-purchase kits to 2,200 tire dealers in mid-September. The kits, which are free, will promote Toyo's Open Country light truck tire line.


In addition, Toyo will continue to sponsor events like The John R. Wooden Classic, an annual college basketball tournament, and various Ultimate Fighting Championship events, which have taken off in popularity and attract "the old boxing crowd," notes Hutchinson.


The objective of these and other initiatives is to build Toyo's brand awareness, he says. "We have to grow our brand awareness. It's just going to take time, patience, effort and money."



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