I put Winter Tyres on the car last week (it’s rear wheel drive, I got stuck three times last Winter). There’s a badly shot but concise video explanation of the benefits of switching here.
I asked the nice bloke at Kwik Fit how many people he thought would be doing the same as me this year. Based on sales so far, he thought 40% of cars would have Winter Tyres on in a couple of months.
Up to last year, proper Winter Tyres (they have a snowflake symbol on them) were thought to account for just 0.5% of total annual tyre sales.
So what’s changed? Well obviously we had a harsh Winter in the UK last year and many people like me will have decided not to risk normal tyres again. But my Kwik Fit bloke also thought it was partly down to the recent advertising push from the big tyre manufacturers like Continental.
The interesting thing it, my tyre prophet didn’t suggest that his customers were asking for tyres by brand name. They mostly just wanted ‘Winter Tyres’ generally, suggesting that ads like the one above have done a good job for the category generally in terms of behaviour change rather than benefitting their specific brand (although of course as the market grows, so should the comparative sales of brands in that market).
But it strikes me that when presented with a range of Winter Tyres to choose from, most people will go for something in their budget range, from a brand they’re heard of. Which might well be the brand they saw on TV last week.
So my hypothesis is that these ads are doing double duty – changing behaviour across the category and boosting promoted brand recall at the point of purchase. Which is pretty impressive for a 20 second ad.