Michelin: Teens Prove Their StreetTread

Ketchum uncovered a startling safety problem for its client, tire manufacturer Michelin North America, that nobody was addressing. Analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data revealed that improperly maintained tires were a contributor to the #1 cause of U.S. teen fatalities: car accidents. Further research showed a serious gap: most driver’s education across 50 states wasn’t teaching teens about tire safety.

The team secured commitments from every state to close that knowledge gap and next launched a national campaign to motivate teens from awareness to action. Our research into what teens spend their own money on after cars (at 9%) pointed directly to the $18B sneaker industry (at 8%). That’s when the rubber hit the road. Tires and sneakers have something in common: TREAD. Teens DO care about their sneaker’s tread and performance. So, we partnered with one of America’s coolest shoe brands, Vans, to create a rare limited-edition sneaker for Michelin to use to educate teens to earn StreetTread. To win a pair, teens just had to show us they knew how to check their tire pressure and measure tire tread with one U.S. penny.


  • 10,000 stories
  • 1.5 billion media impressions
  • 37.7 million teens reached
  • 5.7 million social actions