Toyo Tires recently gained the title of Premium Sponsor for soccer team A.C. Milan for the 2014-2015 Serie A league, and launched a global PR campaign featuring some of the A.C. Milan players. The Serie A has been around for over 80 years, and has a strong fan following. Toyo Tires launched a viral video “ AC Milan vs. Super Car”, which garnered over 6 million views worldwide in just three weeks – effectively achieving the aim of increasing its brand presence in the global market.
The video was primarily targeted at fans of A.C. Milan and supercars, and all who love soccer. Other than the soccer theme that resonates with many around the world, the setting of the video also played a part in the spread of the video when excited soccer fans were proud to show off the beauty of Milan.
Toyo Tires wanted to illustrate how, as a tire manufacturer, it can be playful and at the same time a serious competitor, just like the A.C. Milan stars. In the short clip, a mystery driver in an Audi R8 pits himself against players of the A.C. Milan team through the streets of Milan towards the same goal, but an unexpected ending occurs.
There were 3 challenges in this campaign:
- Crafting an engaging storyline that transcends borders and culture
- Building relationships with influencers
- Strategic management and co-operation across local and international levels.
1. Crafting an engaging storyline that transcends borders and culture
The production of AC Milan vs. Super Car involved a highly detailed planning process. In order to capture the attention of the audience and make the video memorable, the production crew made sure to combine several elements – an unexpected situation, a distinct ‘mischievous’ image and interests of the audience.
Francesca Provetti, Italian model/actress starts off the race of the Milan players against a super car; with the film footage heavily focusing on the players’ facial expressions. The storyline was intentionally kept simple and avoided complexity to ensure that a clear, uniform message was sent across globally, while allowing for slight adaptation to complement local markets.
2. Building relationships with influencers
Building strong relationships with influencers are crucial in contributing to the success of a marketing campaign. Toyo Tires began relationship building with key influencers more than one and a half months before the video was released.
Toyo Tires worked with Mynewsdesk for this particular campaign. As Haruhiko Kitagawa, Spokesperson for Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. recommended, working with “ a partner with the professional network and knowledge enhances the global communication strategy… with Mynewsdesk, the video achieved more than 7 million views globally, and this successful experience gives us great faith in the platform.”
3. Strategic management and co-operation across local and international levels
Mynewsdesk facilitated the simultaneous release of the video content in 10 different languages to various online media platforms such as Youtube, Youku and QQ.
AC Milan vs. Super Car also received attention by several media channels including Yahoo, Autoweek and The Mirror. Of course, there were differing reactions from various markets. Some were positive, but there was also controversy over some of the video content. Interestingly enough, it was the feedback that fueled the reach of the video - the discussion on just The Mirror alone resulted in over 1800 shares.
With the diverse range of reactions, Toyo Tires paid much attention to the gathering of global feedback on various media platforms around the world. It then continually conducted revisions as the campaign was still ongoing, and deployed the relevant project teams on a case-by-case basis to address any issues that needed to be resolved.
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