Models sought for Fuzion tire ads

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For the third consecutive year Bridgestone Firestone will look to Nashville for models to be used in a national print advertising campaign.

If you’re a male or female between the ages of 18 and 34 and sport a trendy, fresh look, you may be just the individual that Bridgestone Firestone is seeking to model their Fuzion tire brand.

Fuzion is a tire brand that Bridgestone Firestone markets to the youth audience and it is designed specifically for the “enthusiast and tuner” markets. The brand includes the Fuzion ZRi, HRi and XTi.

"The Fuzion tire has been met with tremendous enthusiasm and demand from auto enthusiasts and retailers alike,” said Michael Fluck, advertising and Internet manager, Bridgestone Firestone North AmericanTire. “Car enthusiasts who appreciate the MTV-flavor of the popular ‘Pimp My Ride’ television show and who seek to enhance the overall performance of their vehicle are likely to enjoy the Fuzion brand.”

An open casting call (no experience necessary) will be held Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at Play Dance Club and another will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. at Lucky’s Garage. Potential candidates must be between the ages of 18 to 34, wear casual clothes and be prepared to have a few photos taken before a panel of judges.

Bridgestone Firestone will be selecting three females and two males to appear in Fuzion print ads that will be marketed toward its youth market. If models are selected from the casting calls, they will be paid $2,500 each for the modeling assignment.

The ads are expected to appear in at least 15 national magazines, including Import Tuner, Speed, Style & Sound and C16.

Nashvillians who have been selected to appear in some of Bridgestone’s print campaigns include Pete Pantazis, Trevor Mikula, Stevn Dutton, Rusty (Jonathan) Annis, Joe Woolley, Justin Shephard, Shelby Hall, Mina Knox, Wendy Arteaga, Jose Luis and Alicia Hodge. Those models hired have appeared in print and Internet campaigns that include the gay and lesbian community, the Hispanic community, the African-American community and the mainstream community. They are all part of Bridgestone’s efforts to recognize and respect those community members.

Last year more than 200 people auditioned for modeling spots for Bridgestone’s diversity print campaign. Fluck said they would not be holding casting calls this year for the GLBT print campaign because the campaign would be using creative that does include models.

Models selected for the Fuzion campaign will be pampered by the best in the business. Karen Edwards, senior vice president and director of account services for Gish, Sherwood & Friends (the agency handling the Bridgestone account), said a top designer, photographer and stylist have been selected for the photo shoot.

Michael McCall will be the hair/makeup artist. Jennifer Kemp will be the stylist, and John Scarpati will be the photographer.

“The hair/makeup artist, stylist and photographer are the same people we’ve used in the past. They do a fabulous job,” Edwards said.

Bridgestone Fireston North American Tire  (BFNT) held its first model search in Nashville in 2004 and more than 92 people came to the open casting call at Play. Fluck said that year’s method of selecting local models was very successful and credited Laramey Lawson, senior vice president and media director at Gish Sherwood & Friends, for having the idea.

“Laramey thought it would be great to have the community involved and even better to have close interaction with the communities that we are seeking to reach,” Fluck said. “We certainly discovered new talent the past two years.”

The economic impact of BFNT selecting local models and having the photo shoot done in Nashville is significant. Fluck wouldn’t release exact numbers, but it’s projected that the local economic impact could be more than $100,000.

“The initiative to hire local models fits with our mision to support diverse charities and communities,” Fluck said.

BFNT has been a supporter of the local HRC dinner, GLBT Life and Business Expo, Nashville Pride and many other local charaties and events.

For more information on Fuzion visit www.TheFuzionZone.com