RETURN OF THE MICHELIN MAN
Campbell-Ewald Revives 100-Year-Old Ad Icon
February 25, 2002By Jean Halliday
DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- The Michelin Man returns to play a prominent role in the first work from Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., for tire maker Michelin North America, Greenville, S.C.
The Interpublic Group of Cos. agency created a trio of spots, each in 30- and 15-second formats, the first of which breaks Feb. 25 on national broadcast and cable networks.
The No. 2 U.S. tire player in 2000 said the network TV buy will focus on prime time, sports and late night including programming such as the Grammy Awards, ER, The West Wing, Late Show With David Letterman, auto racing, and professional and college basketball. The cable buy focuses on sports, entertainment and news programming. The TV campaign will be backed by print and radio.
Gone is Michelin's longtime "baby-in-a-tire" theme, which the marketer denied last April it wanted to dump. But the campaign will retain the tagline "Because so much is riding on your tires."
Michelin is expected to spend some $35 million this year on the blitz.
Bill Ludwig, vice chairman and chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald, said, "The Michelin Man has been one of the most loved brand symbols for more than 100 years. And he's still cool."
Does the return to an old symbol or icon for a brand mean that the agency just can't come up with something better?
I mean, take Mr. Whipple (please). They revived him and then with in a month or two, went in a different direction. Maybe these old symbols aren't as "loved" as believed.