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2003 Contest Winner!


The WATER Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 2003 Eco-Auto Conservation Marketing™ contest are Bill Jr., Angie and Greg Simon of Simple Simon Tire & Car Care - Goodyear/Gemini dealers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Simon’s invested only a few hundred dollars of cash and received many thousands of dollars of marketing value!  In addition, the Simons were awarded a expense paid vacation at Craguns Resort & Hotel on Gull Lake. This beautiful golf and recreation resort is midst the gorgeous Brainerd Lakes area, located in the heartland of Minnesota. Visit Cragun's website at for more information.

The promotions were spearheaded by radio advertising.  They leveraged a few hundred dollars of paid advertising on four local radio stations into several months of radio ads by asking the stations to also air Eco-Auto Radio Tips as Public Service Announcements (PSAs).  Because of the clever way they’re written, the tips qualified as PSAs, so much of the radio advertising was free, even though their business name was featured. Appealing to the conservation cause, the Simons convinced stations to air the PSAs for several months leading up to Earth Month (April), gaining a good frequency of radio advertising at no additional cost. Angie Simon said, "Showing the public that we are eco-aware has taken our image and kicked it up a notch, and BAM! Our customers are pleased that we are doing our part for the environment and we’re making Conservation Pay in our stores."


PSA Radio Program Example:

Max Mileage™
:10 - Introduction /Question
"This is Max Mileage with an Eco-Auto tip.  Poorly inflated tires are on a fast road to early tire wear, not to mention poor handling and gas mileage.  But there's a quick, easy test you can do to check your tires. Stay tuned."
:30 - Simple Simon Ad "Bog Frog and The WATER Foundation want you to make your car or truck an Eco-Auto.  You can do this by making sure your car is well tuned and fuel efficient.  Help conserve our natural resources by recycling your old tires, oil, batteries and antifreeze.  You can drop these items off at either location of Simple Simon Tires and they will properly dispose of these items for you.  Do your part to help preserve our waterways and bayous."
Max Mileage
:20 - Answer / Conclusion
"When it comes to proper tire inflation the old coin test never lies.  At each tire, insert a quarter in the inside, center and outside of the tread.  If the tread is deeper in the center than the edges, the tire is under inflated.  If the tread is deeper on one side than the other, have your wheel alignment checked out.  The coin test will save you money.  That's what Eco-Auto care is all about."

Bog Frog and Simple Simon's "Kid's Corner"

In addition to the radio campaign, Simple Simon used the programs mascot, Bog Frog, and the Eco-Auto kit in several ways, including the Frog Friendly Tips cards, the Eco-Auto poster and a "kid's corner" in their waiting room, featuring Bog Frog coloring pages and other fun materials for kids. Making sure the kids enjoy their visit to Simple Simon Tire and Car Care has resulted in parents who are telling their friends and neighbors about the great service and the store that cares!

Above are a  few of the Simple Simon posters at kid's corner in the waiting room.

Good Will Through Community Conservation Programs

Simple Simon cleverly connected to other community conservation programs too, building a tremendous amount of goodwill (and free advertising!) through support of efforts like the annual Baton Rouge Earth Day celebration. The Simons had this to say, "We were proud that we were able to represent the automotive industries efforts to do their part through the use of the Eco-Auto program. Bog Frog was a smashing success as he walked in the parades, waving and shaking hands with the children!"

Their booths had literature on recycling automotive products for the adults and Eco-Auto coloring book pages for the children.

Click here to view a Eco-Auto Tip Card used by Simple Simon Tire.

Simon Says "Recycle!"

Simple Simon Recycling Poster

Simple Simon Waste Disposal  Center

David Winkelman, president of The WATER Foundation had this to say, "Simple Simon Tire & Car Care is a good example for all Goodyear dealers, having shown how easy it is to make Conservation Pay! There has never been a better time for Eco-Auto because of rising prices for fuel, energy, and the cost of pollution. Americans need to save money on auto expense, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce pollution.

When Simon Says "Recycle", they mean business!"

 The Eco-Auto conservation contest is an annual function of The WATER Foundation, a leading conservation organization from Minnesota.  To participate, contact The WATER Foundation, 9121 County Road 23, Brainerd, MN 56401. Phone: 218-764-2321;  Fax: 218-764-3582; or E-mail:

Eco-Auto Kit


2002 ECO-AUTO® Contest Winner!

The winner is Moore & Patron Tires & Service, Goodyear / Gemini dealers out of Monroe, Louisiana.  Owner Ray Patron, orchestrated an effective series of conservation-minded activities.  Patron spearheaded the Eco-Auto program with broadcast advertising, including the Eco-Auto Radio Tips on four local stations and an Eco-Auto television spot featuring Bog Frog, cleverly connecting their tire sales and Gemini services with recycling and pollution prevention.  Many elements went into the overall campaign, which increased sales up to 38 percent in the first month alone!

Ray Patron proudly states:

“We are sold on the Eco-Auto campaign! We are getting numerous positive comments from customers, friends, and people on the street.   We will continue to run the (television and radio) spots and look forward to even better campaigns because of what we’ve learned.  Retail sales results were outstanding!


Moore & Patron television commercial promoting special offers and conservation with Bog Frog.

Moore & Patron also aired a television commercial featuring Bog Frog demonstrating their recycling programs and good vehicle/tire maintenance tips as part of their Gemini services, as well as, encouraging the local community to keep their environment clean through responsible vehicle operations.  The television spot is the first of its kind done by a Goodyear dealer (to our knowledge) and was a big factor in their conservation marketing success.  Moore & Patron have been a long time supporter of the Eco-Auto program, proudly displaying their pledge to conservation in each of their four locations.


Ray Patron cleverly connected to several community conservation programs as well, building a tremendous amount of goodwill (and free press!) through support of the local zoo, city parks, and Earth Day programs.  Effective promotional venues were orchestrated in a timely manner with the radio, television, and printed materials, sending scores of new customers in the door, which increased their sales without the large advertising budget typically needed to generate the large amount of good advertising impressions they received.  Mr. Patron also believes that they created an inherent loyalty amongst their customers with the use of Bog Frog and Eco-Auto tips that will last far beyond the duration of the promotions.  In fact, he says that Eco-Auto has become a cornerstone in building our corporate business image and is now integrated into all of our marketing efforts!

David Winkelman, president of The WATER Foundation had this to say, “Moore & Patron are an example for the automotive industry, having proven how easy it is to make conservation pay!  Americans want to do the right thing by reducing pollution and dependence on foreign oil, now more than ever before.  This years contest winner successfully combined more of the elements of the Eco-Auto program than any automotive dealer has ever done before, setting a new high water mark for everyone!”


The Eco-Auto conservation contest is an annual function of The WATER Foundation, a leading conservation organization from Minnesota.  Eco-Auto radio tips are carried on over 850 radio stations across America.  Bog Frog, the spokesphibian and mascot for The WATER Foundation, has become a national icon for clean water and is one of the hosts of Eco-Auto.  The winner of the Eco-Auto contest will receive an expense paid vacation including three days of fishing and golfing in one of the most delightful outdoor recreation areas in America, as well as an inspiring tour of the internationally acclaimed Eco-Dome Conservation Educational Center,.  The Awards ceremony for Moore and Patron will be held this fall at the Goodyear convention/automotive industry trade shows. 




2001 ECO-AUTO® Cause-Marketing Contest Winner

Brainerd, MN, July 11, 2001 - Perhaps the best way to operate a business within any community is to become a part of that community. Positive community image means loyalty, which translates into solid, profitable sales. That said, the retailer which best exemplified this model in 2001-- coupling wise conservation practices with cause-related marketing -- was Goodyear retailer Billups Tire & Muffler Centers in Des Moines County, Iowa, as chosen last week by The WATER Foundation.

"Through Eco-Auto and Eagle Scout Wade Jackson (pictured here), Billups Tire Centers were able to conduct a major tire recycling effort," says owner Jon Billups. "Ultimately over 10,000 scrap tires were recovered from farms and during drop off events." To promote this countywide recycling program, Billups consulted the TWF 2001 Eco-Auto kit.

Over 45 radio ads were aired on two local stations, touting both tire conservation tips and community drop off events. Several fliers and local newspaper articles further publicized the events, again including a number of Eco-Auto tips to help consumers learn how to expand tire life and ultimately, recycle them. In addition, Billups coordinated a conservation-themed kid's poster contest that awarded $250 in prizes.

"A big bonus in helping us promote this right was the online Eco-Auto kit," Billups reports. "We were able to simply go to their (TWF's) web site and get the information we needed, like radio tips, print modules and other signage."

Billups' winning campaign was chosen from over 500 Goodyear retailers who have participated in Eco-Auto® programs. As a result of their efforts, Billups Tire & Muffler wins the 2001 Outdoors Odyssey, an expense paid vacation to the scenic Central Lakes Region of Minnesota, noted for great fishing and golfing, to be enjoyed September 14, 15 and 16, 2001. The prize will be awarded to Billups during Goodyear's North Central Region convention at Cragun’s Resort near Brainerd, Minnesota on August 31.


Among a host of active Eco-Auto participants, contest judges awarded Billups Tire & Muffler the "Eco-Auto Conservation Award" for 2001 based on their attention to five primary factors:

  1. Service to the community-- teaching benefits of recycling (over 10,000 tires recycled), helping the Boy Scouts achieve their merit badges and teaching conservation through a poster contest for elementary school kids.
  2.  Service to conservation-- turning a waste product into a useable resource;
  3. Utilizing cause-related marketing-- promoting their tire recycling program through local radio, in-store signage and printed promotional materials;
  4. Utilizing Eco-Auto kit components-- radio spots, print ads, posters, flyers, handouts, and tips in all retail locations;
  5. Creative brand imaging-- featuring the Goodyear name tastefully in all cause-related program materials and publicity efforts in the community.

While the program was funded in part by an Iowa Department of Natural Resources grant to Des Moines County and sponsored by Billups Tire & Muffler, Eagle Scout Wade Jackson deserves much of the credit for initiating and coordinating the project. "It was a chance for me to earn my Eagle Scout status while helping out the community and the wildlife," says Jackson. After watching a video on the importance of tire recycling, Jackson realized just how important his project was.

"There are several things people can do to help slow the tire waste stream," he reports. "Maintain the proper tire air pressure; rotate tires every six months or 6,000 miles; check wheel alignment and avoid fast starts and stops; and don't forget to visit a local tire dealer for assistance in proper tire maintenance."

To date, hundreds of Goodyear retailers have employed Eco-Auto programs, learning that for their business, Conservation Paysin many ways. To learn more about the of The WATER Foundation's Eco-Auto campaign for Goodyear, call 1-800-944-FROG.







    T.R. Storms from Johnny Wheels in Corbin, Kentucky has jumped in the water with conservation.   Johnny Wheels has
become a leader in their community and increased their service business and sales by offering to recycle waste oil, antifreeze, tires and other Eco-Auto-type services at their three stores.

    By helping several large commercial trucking companies with tire disposal (recycling), they stopped a great deal of landfill pollution and doubled their sales of truck tire retreads during fourth quarter 1998.  “If you want to be green, retread!” is one of the educational advertisements their business sponsors in their community.  The areas favorite radio station WCTT-FM, carries Johnny Wheels ads in the Eco-Auto Tips radio series (from The WATER Foundation). The tips not only teach listeners about how conservation can save them money on their vehicles, but also highlight the unique services and convenient locations Goodyear tire retailers offer on behalf of the environment.

    “At Johnny Wheels, we practice what we preach because we’re on the water three days a week!” says owner T.R. Storms Jr., who is a member of the local Bass club.  “Everyone affects the water whether we realize it or not, because the pollution we generate eventually goes into the water somewhere. Exhaust fumes rain down from the sky, auto fluids run into the sewer and landfills eventually get full.  More consumers are into conservation at a basic level than we realized, so we gave them several ways to help their environment by Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Retreading at our stores.  We also worked with the local schools, hosting Eco-Auto Tips classroom segments, Bog Frog coloring contests, and conservation “clue cards” were handed out which are designed to bring people back into the stores for free merchandise or service.   The results were excellent!  Our community is a better place and our customers are showing their appreciation with their wallets!”

     Conservation Pays!™ is the slogan of The WATER Foundation’s Eco-Auto programs that Goodyear sponsors hundreds of radio stations across America, as well as provides for Goodyear dealers in a free Eco-Auto kit by calling the co-op Hotline number (800 628 5050).  By definition, an Eco-Auto is a fuel efficient vehicle in good working order.  Through preventive maintenance, proper tire selection, inflation, balancing, regular tune-ups, swift attention to problems and recycling of its fluids and parts, Eco-Autos will last longer, run cleaner and save their owners money.  For 1999, Goodyear has created a captivating new Eco-Auto poster for retailer showroom areas, as part of the free kit.

    According to David Winkelman, President of The WATER Foundation and creator of the Eco-Auto program, “This type of cause-related marketing is leading the way for automotive businesses to be more responsible and successful in the 21st century.  Goodyear dealers are in an excellent position to increase their profits from conservation services for their customers and in their own operations.  Why wait until you are legally required to provide these services? By leading the way for conservation now, you deserve greater profits and research has shown that your community will reward you in many ways!”  The WATER Foundation offers more good conservation information on its website “”.

    Hundreds of Goodyear dealers started Eco-Auto programs in 1998 and have learned that conservation pays in many ways.   For Johnny Wheels, conservation paid off by winning an expense paid vacation to the beautiful Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota, fishing and golfing with noted celebrity outdoorsman, Babe Winkelman, David’s brother.  Babe guided two people from Johnny Wheels, as well as the lucky Goodyear District Sales Manager for their territory, Dave Drown, who got to enjoy the vacation time too.  And after they caught as many fish as they want, Babe shared some of his other favorite holes with the winners, on the areas 28 golf courses.  







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