Goodyear and WPP's J. Walter Thompson kicked off one of the most memorable demonstration campaigns with this ad in 1993's Super Bowl XXVII.
"This commercial was the first in a long series of commercial’s that demonstrated the unique advantages of the Goodyear Aquatred, the largest and most successful tire introduction in the history of tires," recalled Daniel Hughes, co-creative director at JWT, later on his website:
The concept of using a metaphor for hydroplaning -- water-skiing -- was used to demonstrate to the consumer the hazards of having a tire skimming over the surface of the road or puddles when the tire loses contact with the road and “hydroplanes”. The commercial demonstrates that even in less than a inch of water, you can hydroplane. The commercial was highly reviewed, highly regarded and garnered numerous press and awards.
Goodyear and JWT followed up the first-quarter "Water Skiing" with a second demo in the fourth quarter, this time using an Indy car speeding through the rain ("Indy").
Goodyear was a familiar brand in Super Bowl contexts, having previously run big-game ads in the 1960s and 70s but also of course flying its blimp above play for many years. (The practice ended after the Sept. 11 attacks led to a ban on flying above the stadium during the game.)
Co-creative directors: Dan Hughes, Rick Pesta. Executive producer: Carole Gall.
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson
QUARTER AIRED: Q1