Michelin Man Joins Advertising Walk of Fame

The Michelin Man has a lot to celebrate. He is turning 113 years old and being inducted into Advertising Week’s Walk of Fame as “Icon of the Year” in ceremonies at Times Center (242 W. 41st Street between 7th and 8th) at 11 a.m. 

As part of an online voting contest, The Michelin Man won the favour of many who voted online to elevate him to a top place in advertising world.

For more than a century, The Michelin Man has served as an ambassador for the Michelin brand. In 1894, the two founding brothers, Andre and Edouard Michelin, saw a stack of tires and noted that with arms “it would make a man.”

Four years later, in 1898, The Michelin Man’s character was born, appearing in Michelin posters and representing the company. Today, The Michelin Man — sometimes called “Bibendum” — is regarded as one of the most iconic symbols, believes Michelin. 

“The Michelin Man is much more than an advertising icon,” says Don Byrd, vice president of marketing at Michelin North America. “He has become a global symbol of safety because of his longevity, his visibility among different audiences and the values he represents.”

In the current advertising campaign, The Michelin Man reminds people that “the right tire changes everything.” The advertising spots feature The Michelin Man in an animated world as he comes to the aid of motorists in trouble, replacing their faulty tires with MICHELIN tires, which he pulls from his body, thereby enabling them to keep driving.

The campaign shows that by using the right tire, consumers may reduce fuel consumption, increase driving safety or extend tread life. The announcement was made Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame recognizes America’s most beloved advertising icons and slogans. According to Michelin company, The Michelin Man will join such other iconic symbols as Columbian coffee icon Juan Valdez and Geico’s gecko.

Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks and motorcycles.

The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 20,900 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

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Rakesh Raman