Hankook Tire

  • Bill Hume, Vice President, Hankook Tire Canada, speaks to reporters at the Winter Tire Ice Test event.

    Bill Hume, Vice President, Hankook Tire Canada, speaks to reporters at the Winter Tire Ice Test Drive event.

  • Bill Hume is interviewed by Pat Foran of CTV about the importance of winter tires.

    Bill Hume is interviewed by Pat Foran of CTV about the importance of winter tires.

  • Canada AM featured the Hankook Ice Test Drive event on its website.

    Canada AM featured the Hankook Ice Test Drive event on its website.

  • <i>World of Wheels</i> – Three-page spread on Hankook as a result of our Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

    World of Wheels – Three-page spread on Hankook as a result of our Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

  • <i>World of Wheels</i> – Three-page spread on Hankook as a result of our Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

    World of Wheels – Three-page spread on Hankook as a result of our Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

  • Full-page article in the <i>Toronto Star</i> as a result of the Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

    Full-page article in the Toronto Star as a result of the Media Familiarization trip to Korea.

Burning Rubber... on Ice

Overview

NATIONAL Public Relations was retained by South Korea-based Hankook Tire to position it as a credible competitor in Canada, accelerating Hankook’s global expansion and growth. Although Hankook is the world’s 7th largest tire manufacturer, it was virtually unknown in Canada and had the lowest media profile of all the main tire brands in Canada.  Our goal was clear: familiarize Canadian media with Hankook and increase Hankook’s share of voice. 

Creative Solution

Media Familiarization Trip
In order to give Canadian media an insider’s look at Hankook and a better understanding of the size of the brand, we proposed a Media Familiarization (FAM) trip to Hankook’s facilities in South Korea.  The trip focused on Hankook’s business and their commitment to R&D and innovative technology.  NATIONAL secured Canada’s top media,  including writers fromThe Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, Sun Media, Yahoo.ca, World of Wheels and Canadian Driver.

The trip to South Korea was a huge success.  Some of the highlights included: one-on-one meetings with the Global CEO, a tour of Hankook's manufacturing facilities, and a chance to test drive products on a specially designed wet/dry track (one of only 10 in the world).  Media were very impressed with Hankook, and our client was equally thrilled with the extensive positive coverage received in all the major Canadian dailies, including photographs and quotes from Hankook senior executives.  The FAM trip alone secured over 12 million impressions with an ad value of $700,000, an ROI of approximately 7:1.

Winter Tire Test Drive - Media Event
Winter is an important sales period for tire retailers.  Hankook makes nearly 60% of its annual sales during the lead up to winter weather.  To drive consumers to retailers and ensure Hankook received mainstream media coverage of its winter products, NATIONAL devised a Winter Tire Test Drive event for media, with a focus on broadcast television.   

The Winter Tire Test Drive event was designed to give reporters a true feel of the tire on an actual ice surface and allow them to experience the difference between all-season and winter tires. NATIONAL assisted in securing the MasterCard Arena, one of Canada’s well-known hockey arenas for on-ice demonstrations, thereby leveraging Hankook’s Hockey Canada partnership.

We targeted trade and automotive media as well as Canada’s top consumer affairs reporters.  Ten media attended and were given the opportunity to drive two identical test cars, one with all-season tires and the other with Hankook winter tires.  A driving instructor in the vehicle gave safe driving tips and explained the importance of having winter tires. 

The demonstrations clearly showed the importance of winter tires and provided great stories for Canada’s top consumer affairs reporters, including CTV’s Pat Foran and Global’s Sean O’Shea.  The resulting coverage was outstanding, with clear brand visibility throughout the arena, and endorsement of the Hankook brand by journalists. The segments aired nationally on the CTV and Global networks across Canada and generated nearly 8 million impressions.

Impact & Results

In 2010, NATIONAL achieved remarkable results for Hankook:

  • The desired impressions more than tripled to 50 million, with a focus on mainstream media (roughly 60% of impressions were mainstream media);
  • The desired ad-value nearly doubled, from $1 million to $1.9 million USD;
  • 300% increase in Share of Voice to 4% (up from 1%).

Testimonial

“NATIONAL is a result-driven public relations firm focused on delivering and executing strategic plans that complement our business objectives. The extra miles that NATIONAL took in 2010 created great success.  The work and cooperation with Hankook Tire’s Canadian Headquarters have been noticed as a benchmark for offices around the world.”

—Joseph Park
Marketing Communications Manager, Hankook Tire Canada