Kumho to Detroit consumers: Stop and smell the tires

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Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. will launch a marketing campaign in the Detroit metropolitan area on July 1 to formally launch the Ecsta DX aroma tire.

The multimedia campaign will cover the Detroit metro area and most of Michigan, including Ann Arbor, Flint, Port Huron and Toledo, Ohio.

The campaign will include a rebate promotion, Internet advertising, local newspaper ads, billboards and radio spots. Kumho will run print ads in regional editions of several national magazines, including Business Week, Forbes, Fortune Inc., Money, Parenting, Family Fun, U.S. News & World Report, Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.

Kumho also will have a presence at select Detroit-area events this summer, including the Woodward Dream Cruise and the Detroit Grand Prix American Le Mans Series race.

In addition to the ad campaign, 56 Discount Tire Co. Inc. stores in Michigan will feature Ecsta DX aroma tire store displays, brochures and posters. The display is a custom-built, Plexiglas box with a small door that consumers can open to smell the lavender scent embedded in the DX aroma tire.

This is the first time that Kumho has attempted a market-specific launch for a product, and it reflects the company's new strategy of moving away from national events such as the X Games and focusing more on point of sale activities.

"This is a major market push test for the Kumho brand," says Mike Leverington, Kumho's director of marketing. "We are using the Ecsta DX aroma tire in this campaign because it differentiates the Kumho brand. It's a unique product and not something consumers expect to see in ads.

"We'll do pre- and post-campaign research to see what kind of impact the campaign has in a defined market area."

According to Leverington, the Detroit campaign will last four months, followed by enhanced marketing in 2008. Kumho will evaluate the results in preparation for similar campaigns in other key markets in 2008 and beyond.

For more information, visit the Kumho Web site at

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