Pirelli Leveraged Social Media Marketing To Minimize Media Budget

4 Min Read. |


Pirelli, the fifth largest manufacturer of tires for automobiles in the world, was established back in 1922 in Milan, Italy. With a global network of nearly 10,000 retailers and distributors, and 19 production sites around the world, the tentacles of this giant are spread across 160 countries. Pirelli is also known for its sponsorship for sports. Having ventured in sports sponsorship since a century, it is currently the exclusive tire supplier for the F1 Championship and FIM World Superbike Championship. Though the major part of the revenue is derived from tire manufacturing, Pirelli has also launched high-tech sportswear brands like PZero. On top of that, it also works in the field of renewable energy and sustainable mobility.


With a goal of growing their pool of loyal follower base in the United States, Pirelli designed high-end campaign to launch their then newest product, P Zero All Season Plus tire. Their idea was to make the campaign as unique, interactive and premium as possible.

Pirelli was ready to walk a few extra miles from the clichéd search and display campaigns, to focus more on tailored engagement. The major points they needed to focus on:

1. A more proficient filtration of target audience segment and having a more deeper interaction with them.

2. Minimizing media budget.


Pirelli went on to launch the ‘Highway Zero’ campaign.

As per the marketing consultancy:

“The “Highway Zero” campaign 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 like Red cameras, aerial drones and wheel-well-mounted GoPros to capture every thrilling turn. Users can 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 — so the user is truly experiencing the Californian pavement! Best of all, viewers can enter to win their own California road trip in a Cadillac ATS with the all new P Zero All Season Plus.”

But building a strong campaign alone is never enough. Reaching out to a multitude of people (driving traffic) is the pivot for the success of any campaign. In streamlining the digital marketing strategy, the media plan was broken into four major constituents:


Providing the required diversity and creativity to put to use, social media played the key role in this campaign. With Facebook and Twitter being the primary channels, Highway Zero hit the roads hard and swift. This is how they used both:


Starting off with 25 ad sets.

  • Constant test to find new customer segment.
  • Analyzing response to the kind of ad copy and creative.
  • Tweaking and updating the ads at a regular basis to reflect user engagement.

Pirelli created their Twitter account (@PirelliUSA) for the first time during this campaign.

  • Fan base built to 8,500 followers.
  • Highway Zero promotions based on engagement with organic content.
  • Created #HealthierMan campaign – Followers were encouraged to use the hashtag to share how they are living a healthy lifestyle. By the end of the campaign, Pirelli raised $10,000 to donate to the Men’s Health Network.


  • Pre-roll ads with creative contents.
  • User targeting down to the minutest level.
  • Use of RTB technology to gain brand metrics.
  • RTB and programmatic buying.
  • Custom audiences on Google AdWords and YouTube.
  • Targeting online publication and video channels.

Targeting key figures of automobile industry and drew leverage out of their social presence. Advantage was gained


  • Sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram.
  • High quality product reviews on YouTube.
  • User engagement bridge between Pirelli and their own fan base – Replies, Retweets, Posting links.


  • The Pirelli Highway Zero campaign received 173,000 visits to date, with 111,219 unique visitors overall.
  • Video media 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 CTR of 1%.
  • Social influencer content received nearly 8,000 engagements on non-Pirelli channels.


Even if it’s a 100-year-old global brand, it needs to up its tempo in terms of its digital presence.

1. Setting a clear objective – It’s very essential to set the goals clear and straight.

2. Finding out the correct TG Buckets is quintessential.

3. Relevant contents drive all efforts.

4. Engagement is the key.

5. Measuring and analyzing the performance at a regular basis to tweak efforts and keep an open end to adjustments.

Image Credits: Pirelli

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