Advertising a chocolate bar in a car wash operated by strippers? Advertising vodka with a housewife who employs men to - lashed with a whip - clean her apartment? Sex, violence and risky vocabulary? Such things have also happened to  some of the best tyre manufacturers.

Warning, woman behind the wheel!

Such controversial or provocative spots, which were banned by television, but live on the Internet. It often happens that their creators deliberately try to create a scandal (although the truth is that nowadays, you really have to try hard to shock someone with an advert) to draw the media’s attention and viewers to their campaign. How do tyre companies and their marketing strategies from the more or less distant past look like?

Once, the sight of a woman behind the wheel of a car caused considerable controversy.

Once, the sight of a woman behind the wheel of a car caused considerable controversy.

Let's start with a time when such concepts as viral advertising (that is, the distribution of adverts by Internet users among themselves) did not exist. At the end of the sixties, Goodyear advertised its diagonal model POLYGLAS, distinctive, as declared, by exceptional durability and service life. How to highlight these advantages in the best possible advertising form? For example - showing that they do not lose value even when ... the car is driven by a woman.

"When a woman's at the wheel, Polyglas means more than mileage" said the voice over a slightly disturbing sequence of events with a lady driving at a steady pace on the road to pick up her husband or friend from the airport. Today, such advertising would be regarded as extremely sexist and abusive by all feminist organisations. But let's remember, that as long as the proportion of female and male drivers in America is almost equal, half a century ago, it was dominated by men. With all its consequences.

Goodyear had a gift for these types of controversial ads. Already, in the twentieth century, the company shot a spot where they tried to prove in a chancy way, that performance isn’t always affected with time. However, in this advert you see an old lady who is heading home ... in reverse gear. Coupling this with the "old-dangerous" phrase was a complete  risk. Fortunately for Goodyear, the ad did not stay on  television for long.

Pirelli and man-eater

In the seventies, Dunlop had an original approach to advertising. In one spot, they wanted to show how many everyday products are made in their factories and what would happen if they were gone. Tyres disappeared from cars the, balls from tennis courts, transport belts from factories, pontoons from the water, and moreover women were losing their clothes and were left just in underwear. At that time, the promoters of the BFGoodrich brand also had a sense of humour. Throughout the series of spots, the actors ... ‘mistakenly’ named BFGoodrich with the competitor, Goodyear. "If you want Goodrich, you just have to remember that it's Goodrich" said the slogan in the ads. Yes, such advertisements would not be prohibited today, maybe only by a department in the company responsible for promotional activities. To admit that customers have a problem with a brand name with such traditions was a rather peculiar, though probably a self-ironic, idea.

Also, we mustn’t forget about a popular Pirelli advert from the nineties. The plot was like a cheap crime film: a woman waiting for a lover and trying to get rid of her husband by damaging the brakes in his car. "The legendary Pirelli tyres’ grip has become his only chance," says the voice, as the husband rushes on sharp bends at high speed. In the last scene, he returns to his infidel (and surprised) wife. The film finishes we the slogan: "Pirelli, get carried away". Risky, given that the main character was a potential murderer.



Nokians so safe that they provoke

Bridgestone managed to make a banned television advert. In this TV spot, the main characters were dogs, and it is about fidelity, or rather lack of it. A Labrador dog sees his beloved (Poodle) cheating on him. He decides... to commit suicide, throwing himself under the wheels of a car on a highway. However, the car brakes on the spot, in front of the desperate pooch. "Tyres designed to save lives" says the slogan.



The creators of the Nokian advert from a decade ago, also liked to take risks. Slogan: "The safety of Nokian tyres can cause extreme action in the quest for excitement". The man in the film needs to stop somewhere for toilet break. And, apparently due to the reason given on the sign, the man decides ... to urinate on the high voltage wire. 



Finally, we have a series of Goodyear ads from a few years ago, which were banned from every television station. In each film, someone is trying to change a punctured tyre. During this process, one man is slain by a truck, the other is crushed by a car which he crawled under and a woman falls from a viaduct. "Changing tyres can be dangerous" – Goodyear was trying to convince us. They recommended their run-flat tyres, on which you can reach a garage, after puncturing a wheel.