GOODYEAR TEAMS GEMINI DEBUT WITH MLB PLAYOFFS: NEW AUTO-CARE PROGRAM TOUTS IMPROVED SERVICE

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will use the Major League Baseball playoffs to make a pitch for its new auto-care program, Gemini.

Goodyear will begin airing "Emily," a TV spot combining animation and live segments, on Oct. 5. The ad from Hitchcock, Fleming & Associates, Akron, Ohio, will run in 15- and 30-second versions through the baseball playoffs and World Series in October, as well as Nascar race broadcasts, and NFL and college football.

The spot is slated to run for six weeks, with a budget of $4.5 million, said Steve Schroeder, manager of trade marketing.

40% HAVE QUALIFIED

The Gemini program requires dealers to meet standards for training, improved facilities, up-front pricing and nationwide guarantees, said Mr. Schroeder. About 1,700, or 40%, of Goodyear's auto-service stores have qualified so far, he said.

Repair shops will include children's play areas, signs explaining common repair jobs and personnel trained to "empathize with the customer," he said.

The TV spot will show a girl about 8 years old coloring a picture of her father working in a Goodyear carcare store. She then enters into the picture for an animated sequence.

INK-JET ADS

Goodyear also will buy personalized ink-jet ads in the Nov. 8 issue of Sports Illustrated, directing readers to the nearest Gemini store. It will run national network radio ads in November and January.

Bob Clancy, art director for Hitchcock, said the animation style was chosen to emphasize the difference between Gemini and past consumer images of auto-repair shops.

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