Conti Alert: Best in Braking

Liam Loan-Lack
Liam Loan-Lack (former) Account Director


To make vehicle drivers consider Continental tyres as delivering the best braking performance.

From our extensive consumer and market research we knew that, for the majority of car drivers, tyres are a low-interest product. However, when the nights draw in, the temperature drops and road conditions become wet or icy, choice of tyre – and above all, braking distance – is more top-of-mind than at any other time.

Unlike our European cousins, the UK consumer is not as accustomed to switching from all-season tyres to specialist, winter tyres that deliver superior braking, grip and water resistance in the winter months. In all, we had quite a task on our hand to cut through this entrenched consumer disinterest in the importance of seasonally relevant tyres.


To address this apathy among UK drivers, Initiative took learnings from Government campaigns which sought to encourage socially beneficial behaviours (checking your fire alarm, reducing speed from 35 to 30mph etc.). We identified two key takeouts to inform our media strategy:

  • Our media had to dial up the emotion behind the safety message. Radio would therefore be our lead, emotive medium for the campaign.
  • Although the road safety/braking issue is universally relevant to all drivers, we had to identify a target that would be most receptive. This sweetspot audience is a car-reliant audience. Or in demographic terms, those who live in a rural location are of an AB social grade and over index on having a family.

Moreover, to maximise use of media budget, we opted for a tight channel mix of radio and online. First, Newslink spots in radio launched the campaign with a hard-hitting, safety message focussed on winter braking and then online – display, PPC and a bespoke microsite – brought to life the concept ‘Conti Alert’. This concept was powered by DfT data, which was collated and organised in an interactive map to act as the landing page for all online activity.

Upon landing on the site, users could see their own locality and the accidents caused by icy/wintery roads in detail to make the safety message more pertinent and impactful. In line with this data-driven approach, our traffic driving online display was both geo-targeted to rural locations and activated only when the temperature dropped below 7 degrees C – the level at which normal, all season tyre effectiveness drops dramatically and winter tyres should be fitted.


TBC – campaign still being flighted