Michelin’s ‘Teens Prove Their #StreetTread’ Program Wins Esteemed Awards

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Michelin North America, headquartered in Greenville, S.C., recently won top honors at the 2019 Silver Anvil Awards, the communication industry’s oldest and most esteemed honor, for its “Beyond the Driving Test” program focused on educating new drivers about the importance of tire safety.

“At Michelin, we know we have an obligation to promote and provide safe and sustainable mobility solutions,” said Joanie Martin, chief administrative officer for Michelin North America. “We realize that to accomplish this mission we must have innovative approaches to move younger drivers to action — because we all share the road.”

In addition to the “Best of Silver Anvil” honor, #StreetTread also was recognized with a Silver Anvil and an award of excellence, adding to a long list of national and regional awards this year:

Since 1944, the Silver Anvil — which symbolizes the forging of public opinion — has been annually awarded to organizations that have successfully addressed contemporary issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. Silver Anvil Awards recognize complete programs that incorporate sound insights and analysis, planning, execution and evaluation. They must meet the highest standards of performance in the profession of public relations.

The award-winning program was an extension of Michelin’s longstanding cause, Beyond the Driving Test, created in association with FIA in 2014 to include consistent information about tire safety in training materials for new drivers across every state. Research revealed that improperly maintained tires were contributing to the No. 1 cause of teen deaths in the U.S. — car accidents. To ensure teens took action on tire safety, #StreetTread associated the shoes on their feet with the “shoes” on their cars to ignite kids’ awareness about how proper air pressure and tread depth can save lives.

For “Teens Prove Their #StreetTread,” Michelin teamed with Vans for a limited-edition #StreetTread sneaker inspired by the iconic Michelin Man. The launch coincided with Memorial Day weekend, which unofficially starts the 100 deadliest days of the summer for teen drivers. Teens could “buy” the shoes for a penny — as long as they first used the coin to check their tires for proper tread depth. The promotion explained how to insert the penny to indicate tread depth.

A giant Vans-themed “sneaker-mobile” traveled from California to New York City to promote the campaign and create social buzz. Meanwhile, teaser content from Michelin and Vans-affiliated channels fueled speculation about it. The journey culminated in an official launch party at Vans’ Union Square location in Manhattan, where the limited-edition shoe was revealed to media and hundreds of passersby.

More than 4,000 teens checked their tires and submitted photos through the #StreetTreadContest. Then, 100 teen drivers were selected to receive the exclusive, limited-edition sneakers last fall. The Michelin team also rolled out #StreetTread events at high schools and hosted a tire safety pep rally during National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Learn more about #StreetTread and meet the 100 winners at beyondthedrivingtest.com/streettreadcontest.