Renowned for their ultra-high performance tires, Italian brand Pirelli has been at the forefront of the industry since 1922.

With nearly a century of quality production behind them, Pirelli wanted to create a digital campaign that was every bit as premium as their brand in a bid to expand their already loyal following the US market.

Based around the launch of their newest product, the P Zero All Season Plus tire, Pirelli challenged Major Tom to create a unique interactive experience that would allow digital audiences to enjoy the ride.

Showcasing an electrifying ride

Moving away from digital planning that was largely built around basic display and search campaigns, the goal became tailored engagement. The key was not only to reach the target market, but communicate with them on a deeper level, immersing them in Pirelli’s storied brand.

To achieve this, Major Tom teamed up with New York-based creative agency Engine Digital to craft an immersive and interactive Pirelli experience. The result was the “Highway Zero” campaign, which provides an exciting first-person ride-along through video segments filmed in California’s Marin County, Joshua Tree, and Lake Tahoe.

Engine Digital used the latest videography technology to enable users to virtually “ride along” to discover the performance and grip of Pirelli tires. As a supplement, an integrated travelogue highlights roadside attractions and points of interest — the user is truly experiencing the ride. Best of all, viewers can enter to win their own California road trip in a Cadillac ATS equipped with the all new P Zero All Season Plus.

Stepping on the gas

Building a stunning interactive experience was all well and good, but in order for it to be truly effective, we needed to drive traffic to it.

As a holistic agency, Major Tom’s focus is to connect the dots when it comes to digital marketing. For Pirelli, “Highway Zero” was our starting point, and from there our cross-functional team of specialists worked together to ensure that the full spectrum of digital marketing tactics were working in harmony to ensure people were engaging with the interactive experience.

We did this by splitting the campaign into four components, each designed for optimal targeting and data collection, and ensuring that they worked together to form a cohesive digital strategy that delivered the right information, to the right people, on the right platform.

Social media

Social was a huge component of our campaign. Facebook and Twitter were our focal points, and here’s a taste of how we used each:

  • On Facebook, we tested constantly to find new custom audiences, and pivoted in real time to discover which audiences were responding to which campaigns.
  • We started with over 25 unique ad sets, then continuously tweaked and updated our creative and copy to reflect user engagement, campaign messaging, and new Pirelli activities during the campaign.
  • Pirelli didn’t have a Twitter account when the campaign began so we created one, building the fanbase on @PirelliUSA to the more than 17,000 followers that they have today.
  • We built their following by coordinating Highway Zero promotions with organic, engaging content.
  • To further establish Pirelli’s positive engagement, we developed the philanthropic #HealthierMan campaign. At the end of the campaign, Pirelli donated $10,000 to the Men’s Health Network.

Video ads

Pirelli provided us with extensive research on their target market, so we knew that video advertising was a great point of entry to connect with their audience. Our video strategy included:

  • Running pre-roll ads on YouTube, with creative content to engage users to keep watching.
  • Utilizing TubeMogul’s RTB technology to manage video advertising initiatives and gain brand metrics.
  • Performing granular user targeting through categories like geography, language, topics, and interests.

Display ads

While Pirelli was already using display and search marketing, we sought out the best contextual targeting opportunities and used conversion optimizer tools to boost results. Some of our tactics included:

  • RTB and programmatic buying.
  • Creating custom audiences to target in self-serve platforms such as Google AdWords and YouTube.
  • Targeting online publications and video channels.
  • Developing relationships with media partners, running their technology to find best audiences and placements.
  • Optimizing toward people most likely to find retailer locations or view tire specification pages.

Influencer outreach

The final part of the digital puzzle for Pirelli was to identify and engage with key influencers in the automotive industry. We conducted an outreach program with trusted names to make Pirelli a part of their social presence. Our influencers spread their support through:

  • Sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Full TV-quality Pirelli product reviews on YouTube.
  • Encouraging engagement between their fan base and Pirelli through replies, retweets, and links posted.

Shifting into high gear

We knew that each channel on its own would help drive impressions for the “Highway Zero” campaign. But in order to connect Pirelli with the right drivers, every strand of the digital marketing campaign had to work in harmony. It was a strategic approach that was designed to map out the road to success before stepping on the gas.

Just some of the highlights from the Pirelli campaign included:

  • The Pirelli Highway Zero campaign received over 173,000 visits, with 111,219 unique visitors overall.
  • Video delivered over 1 million impressions, with an average cost per view of just $0.04.
  • Display media drove over 24,000 visits to the Highway Zero website.
  • Total Twitter engagements reached almost 40,000, with an engagement rate of 0.83%
  • Pirelli’s #HealthierMan hashtag was tweeted 2,153 times and delivered 24 million impressions.
  • Facebook paid media gained over 90,000 engagements, with a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 1%
  • Social influencer content received nearly 8,000 engagements on non-Pirelli channels.