Continental, lobbying campaign

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How to ramp up a winter tire sales problem to a broader positioning of public interest?

Context

Continental, the European leader in winter tires, invented the first “Contact” studless winter tires and would like this product to be recognized in terms of French legislation and regulations. In addition, in launching its “Vision Zero” program in late 2015, Continental made road safety its top priority.

Notre réponse

Proches’ strategy was to turn the subject of a commercial problem into a public policy issue. We created a message from the observation that for the last 20 years the Road Safety Policy (politique de sécurité routière – PSR) focuses predominantly on changing the behavior of drivers and on improving road infrastructure, and that the design and equipping of vehicles has been generally overlooked by the PSR.

To convey this message, we set up a political and opinion intelligence system (watch, political notetaking), we took a close look at sales pitch tools (reputation benchmark, generic position paper on winter tires), and helped with the launch and a counter study on accidentology (hiring an economist specializing in the subject, brief for the development of a research protocol).

We also launched an active lobbying campaign (program of meetings, identification of members of Parliament specializing in road safety and tax, as well as social welfare officials) and produced an institutional corporate brochure on Continental.