AKRON — Michelin´s Bibendum-the iconic man made of tires-is starring in a North American multimedia campaign that embraces the company´s global corporate signature "A Better Way Forward."
The message, which will be rolled out in television, radio, print and online advertisements, incorporates Michelin´s attempts to portray its evolution as a tire manufacturer as well as its commitment to society, the environment and protecting people on the road.
In the campaign, a slimmed-down version of 108-year-old Bibendum is at the heart of most of the company´s commercials.
One of the ads features Bibendum as a tour guide inside a futuristic, computer-generated Michelin research center.
It aired prior to and after the 2007 Super Bowl and during the Academy Awards broadcast.
Michelin expected to generate more than a billion consumer "hits" with the campaign during the February to April introduction period.
The company increased its advertising budget 50 percent this year to support the campaign, although the firm did not divulge its actual spending.
The advertisements scored well with test audiences for motivating a tire purchase, according to Adam Murphy, marketing communications manager at Michelin.
The campaign is designed to drive consumers to the company´s Web site, www.michelin.com, which showcases interactive games and video clips of current and vintage commercial advertisements, Murphy said.
"Our key objective was to build the Michelin brand, to get customers asking for the brand by name when they come into a dealership," the marketing communications manager said.
The firm created some easy-to-use sales aids, such as a playing-card size "Quick Reference Guide" on a retractable belt clip that the company packaged in a Bibendum-like white plastic toolbox and sent to 1,000 of its dealers´ outlets.
The campaign is the work of Campbell-Ewald Co., the company´s advertising and marketing communications agency since 2001.