Firestone: In the Car Business 112 Years

Gary S. Vasilash

While it may be a bit of a stretch, Firestone (part of Bridgestone Americas) is running an advertising campaign that has an interesting thesis: although it is not a car company per se, given its 112 years in producing automotive tires, and its 86 years in service, during which it has serviced 11,000 makes and models and over 500-million vehicles in total, it sort of is a car company.

Or, as Charley Wickman, executive vp and executive creative director of Leo Burnett, the ad agency that developed the campaign, "The simple truth we've uncovered is that even though Firestone never made a single car, Firestone is a car company. Because in all their years in business, they've helped to make millions run better, faster, longer and stronger." (Yes, an eyebrow-raise may be appropriate for “the simple truth.”)

Firestone Anthem

Shooting a Firestone commercial celebrating the tire company’s longevity in auto.

One compelling comment in all this comes from Phil Dobbs, chief marketing officer of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations: “People are keeping their cars—be it Chevys, Toyotas or BMWs—now longer than ever—on average 10.8 years.”

And certainly when you keep a car that long, you need to replace the tires more than a time or two.

But with the recent skyrocketing August auto sales, we’re thinking that perhaps that average age may start to diminish. Which is not to say that people still won’t be in the market for new tires.