Meet Your 2018 Great Mascot Challenge Champion

Meet Your 2018 Great Mascot Challenge Champion

Hootie - the wide-eyed owl that stands for all Tire Pros - was voted Tire Review's 2018 Great Mascot Champion in the 2018 Great Mascor Challenge, presented by Schrader Performance Sensors. 

Hootie Tire Pros Tire Review Great Mascot Challenge Champion
Tire Pros Hootie was voted the 2018 Great Mascot Challenge Champion.

Representing a nationwide network of over 700 independent tire dealers, Hootie – the wide-eyed owl that stands for all Tire Pros – was voted Tire Review’s 2018 Great Mascot Champion in the 2018 Great Mascot Challenge, presented by Schrader Performance Sensors. 

Hootie is rather young for taking the “best of the best” title for tire industry mascots, swooping onto the scene – and into Tire Pros marketing – in 2015. Ever since, he’s become synonymous with the Tire Pros brand and a recognizable face on social media and at dealer locations across the country.

But before he could be crowned Tire Review’s 2018 Great Mascot Champion, he surpassed Fred, a Florida alligator representing Action Gator Tire; he outlasted a 15-foot lovestruck man made of tires from South Dakota’s Tires Tires Tires; he raced past America’s most recognizable balloon (the Goodyear blimp!); and overpowered Belle Tire’s iconic, smiling Tireman amassing more than 26,000 votes in the last round of the challenge. 

Learn more about this rather new furry face from one of his creators, Tire Pros Spokesman Quick Chadwick.

Creating Hootie

Developing a mascot for the Tire Pros franchise started in 2013 at one of the company’s regional council meetings, Chadwick said.

A tire dealer brought up the fact that while Tire Pros continued to invest in its member organizations, there wasn’t one thing – one symbol – that unified the brand.

So, they went back to the drawing board, and Chadwick was one of the members of the team that delved into the subject of mascots.

Oddly, he said one of their sources of inspiration was a talking bladder used in Myrbetriq commercials to help promote the medication used to bladder control issues.

“If you look at their website, you see an animated bladder with cute big eyes and so forth…,” Chadwick said. “I looked at all the tire industry logos too from Belle (Belle Tire’s Tireman, the runner-up in the 2018 Great Mascot Challenge) to Michelin’s Bib (Bibendum, a.k.a the Michelin Man) and Bob’s Tire… We saw everything, and one animal that came up was an owl.”

Like any good marketing campaign, they researched the owl and its significance in pop culture.

“When kids grow up, they watched Winnie the Pooh’s Owl. There was the ‘Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute” campaign,” Chadwick says. “It’s important to understand how it was used… But most importantly, it represents trustworthiness and wisdom.”

As a bird of prey, owls have binocular vision, tremendous sight spectacular hearing. For Tire Pros, that translated to mean that it symbolized their vision and their dealers’ ability to listen to customers, especially from great distances.

Owls also have zygodactyl feet, or toes arranged in pairs, that represent how the Tire Pros Network has grip and superior traction in the tires that their independent dealers sell. They also say “hoot” during nesting season, which can be heard from miles away to attract females — or in this case, female (and male) customers.  They’re also used as a symbol of protection, meaning that every Tire Pros dealer has protecting their customers on the road in mind when servicing vehicles.

To learn more about Hootie’s origins – and other mascots Tire Pros considered to represent its brand – check out the April issue of Tire Review.

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