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Dunlop Tires Launches Podcasts

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Dunlop Tires, a venerable British tire maker now part of Goodyear, has just announced that they are going to be shifting some of their media weight to alternative media and especially podcasts. Since VehicleVoice was early into the audio podcasting and video podcasting arena, it is interesting to follow how major brands may be using these media to carry their messages to the public.
Dunlop Touts Podcasting
In a May 16 press release, Janice Consolacion, brand planning manager for Dunlop Tires in North America, is quoted, “Podcasts are delivering a powerful punch. We’re one of the first out of the gate to take advantage of this new technology, and the rich content for our “casts” is available for automotive enthusiasts searching for cool audio and video.”
Consolacion continues, “Print ads raise awarenes for Dunlop events like Drivers Cup, but it is our podcasts that provide a real feel for the excitement of the competition. Podcasting also is attracting increased traffic to our Web site and giving enthusiasts a reason to return often.
Podcasts are a growing avenue to reach customers. The tire brand can use the technology for customer testimonials and sales training to help its sales force understand automotive enthusiasts and their motivations
Enthusiasts are naturally drawn to the latest technologies in automotive, electronics, communications and tires, so it’s only natural that Dunlop would build a library of information and entertainment to help them make informed choices. It’s another way for us to build relationships with our target audience, the ‘in-the’know’ driver,” she said.
“On the Web site, a photo is worth a thousand words. On an audio/video podcast, the message is worth a million words,” Consolacion said.
“About 11 percent of U.S. consumers own an Apple iPod or MP3 player, and the number of pods is growing. One advantage is portability. Consumers aren’t tied to their computers to get Dunlop messages. They can take it with them,” she said.

Dunlop Also Using MotorWeek 25 Top Drives as an Incentive
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Another part of the Dunlop initiative is to sponsor a MotorWeek DVD that is available as a retail incentive. We found an example of how they are using the DVD. At TireRack, with the purchase of four Dunlop tires you can receive the two DVD MotorWeek 25 Top Drives video or a $50 discount.
The 25 Top Drives idea is great, but clearly MotorWeek has gone back into their archives for much of the footage. Top Drives means top cars MotorWeek has tested over the years. The oldest is the 1991 Acura NSX. The newest is the 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS in April 2005. But the next newest is the BMW X3 in March 2004. It seems that much of this could have been more current. Oh, yeah, slotted in the middle of the playlist is “Driving with Dunlop” featuring drifting.

VehicleVoice 17, Dunlop 4

VehicleVoice has to agree with what Consolacion says in the Dunlop press release. We have found substantial increases in traffic to our VehicleVoice blogsite since launching audio podcasts and video podcasts in January. We do it to keep VehicleVoice automotive internet research panel members and the average auto consumer informed about topics and issues they otherwise would not have access to. And, it’s fun.
Don’t want to mention it, but VehicleVoice has seventeen audio and video podcasts available for download at the Apple iTunes Music Store. Dunlop has four. We air about one a week. Their latest is two months old. Also the VehicleVoice content is much longer… but maybe that’s not good (what do you prefer, short and punchy or longer and more thoughtful?) It does seem that if this is such a major new initiative with Dunlop, they would have much more content up by now.

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