Michelin Man Debuts in U.S. Advertising to Tell the Story of Superior Engineering

The launch of a
new advertising campaign from Michelin takes one small step for the
tire maker and one giant leap for the Michelin Man.

The Michelin Man, one of the world’s most recognizable icons,
takes center stage in U.S. advertising for the first time as Michelin
North America introduces a branding campaign featuring three new
television spots – including the debut of a spot featuring the
Michelin Man as a space shuttle astronaut.

The three new TV spots “Shuttle” (debuting February 25 in :15 and
:30), “Hands On” (debuting week of March 4 in :30), and “Dance”
(debuting week of April 1 in :15 and :30) were created by
Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Detroit, and will utilize the Michelin Man
to demonstrate why Michelin is the best and most secure brand of
tires. Each spot combines film with computer-generated animation to
illustrate the Michelin Man’s passion for tires. The campaign will
retain the long-time tagline, “Because so much is riding on your

The campaign will feature TV, print and radio and will total 1.4
billion consumer impressions while reaching 96 percent of Michelin’s
target audience. The network television buy will focus on prime time,
sports and late night; including the Grammy Awards, ER, The West Wing,
David Letterman, auto racing, and professional and college basketball.
The cable buy focuses on sports, entertainment and news programming.

“Through these spots, we want to portray Michelin’s obsession with
quality, engineering and innovation,” said Alison Heiser, vice
president of marketing for Michelin Americas Small Tires. “Nowhere
else in the world do tires matter more than at Michelin.”

Each of the spots shows Michelin’s passion for their product in a
unique manner.

  • “Shuttle” – This spot celebrates the fact that only
    Michelin® tires are used on the U.S. space shuttle. It opens
    with the dramatic preparations for the space shuttle launch,
    slowly revealing the uniformed astronauts walking into the
    shuttle with the Michelin Man in his flight suit. The
    voiceover reveals, “Michelin. Proud to be the only tire of the
    space shuttle. Because so much is riding on your tires.”

  • “Hands On” – This spot demonstrates Michelin’s commitment to
    quality. It opens with a wide shot of the inside of a tire
    factory and focuses on the strict testing performed on every
    Michelin tire manufactured in North America – including a
    white glove inspection performed by the Michelin Man. The
    1970s ballad “Never Gonna Let You Go” plays in the background
    while the Michelin Man lovingly inspects each tire.

  • “Dance” – This spot highlights consumers overwhelming
    satisfaction with Michelin® tires. It opens with a designer
    working at his desk as his coffee cup starts to vibrate and
    his paper clips shake. A pan to the floor above reveals the
    Michelin Man dancing exuberantly around his office as
    Michelin’s J.D. Power & Associates Awards shake on the
    shelves. The voiceover announces, “Once again Michelin owners
    have spoken and we swept the J.D. Power and Associates Awards
    for customer satisfaction. Now that’s worth celebrating.” As
    the scene closes, the voice-over concludes, “Now back to

“It is not often that a new campaign can leverage an icon as
powerful as the Michelin Man,” said Bill Ludwig, vice chairman and
chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald Advertising. “The Michelin
Man has been one of the most loved brand symbols for more than 100
years. And he’s still cool.”

Michelin has an unmatched culture of engineering innovation,
leadership and world-renowned quality standards. These attributes make
Michelin the most trusted tire brand in the marketplace. Michelin®
tires are found on the space shuttle, the Concorde and the new Segway
Human Transporter, as well as on millions of vehicles on America’s

The winner of 30 J.D. Power & Associates Awards for customer
satisfaction, Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of
vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm
equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The
company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering
Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville,
S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs 26,500 and
operates 23 plants in 19 locations.