Michelin helps road trippers get rolling online

With a virally promoted website, new Green Guides and a robust database of Michelin Man fans, the tire maker is engaging consumers who are travelling to Canadian hot spots.

Michelin wants to aid drivers in their road trip adventures with a new website and viral initiative, MichelinOnTheRoad.ca. The microsite provides a fuel calculator, optimized map routes and fuel efficiency tips for summer road trips.

‘What we’re trying to do to help consumers, especially nowadays when gas [prices are] so high, is to share information in terms of fuel efficiency and how tires play such an important role when it comes to saving money,’ Celine Messiha, Michelin marketing communications manager, tells MiC.

Developed by Montreal-based Nurun, the campaign is promoted through a database of more than 10,000 members that grew through last year’s ‘Magic Moments’ viral effort, MichelinMoments.ca in which visitors posted trip photos with the tire brand’s marshmallowy mascot clipped into the image. Launched last spring, more than 10,000 photos were submitted, says Messiha. Those who submitted a photo were also asked to send an email to two friends for a chance to win a $1,000 American Express gift card.

The road trip website is also cross-promoted on the cover of Michelin’s four new Green Guides, sold in bookstores across Canada, which give drivers info on tourist spots and scenic routes across the country. In upcoming web enhancements, some of the routes from the Green Guides will be incorporated into the interactive road map, says Messiha, as will some of the images from the Magic Moments website.

In the digital strategy, Michelin is taking advantage of a fan base for the mascot that exists organically. On Flickr, a photo sharing site, there are more than 8,000 pictures with the Michelin Man, and on YouTube, more than 1,000 videos. ‘We know that there are many consumers who love the Michelin Man,’ says Messiha.