When Campbell-Ewald set out to create Michelin's and the Michelin Man's home on the web, they actually went and created his home, on the web. They also created where he and his fellow Michelinians (Michelinites? Micheliners?) perform their tire research, perfect their tires’ safety features, harness their chi and act towards a green tomorrow.
The message here is really clear…Michelin is fully immersed in the world of tires and tire production, and the company is doing things that others in that world just aren’t.
This is a beautiful, seamless virtual environment that's really easy to navigate and features a lot of information and many entertaining and educational videos.
The region of this world that shows what Michelin is doing for the environment is bolstered by the region where the company includes safety videos to show what it's doing for its own customers. Check out the video on surviving a blow-out or replacing your front vs. back tires. Just having this type of content on their site speaks volumes to how Michelin approaches their product, their customers and the environment. In the lounge, you can even sign up for reminders on when to check your tire pressure…which…if I still owned a car…I would sign up for in a heart beat.
What's really great is that its online execution is a deeper exploration of the world shown in the TV commercials, effectively establishing online as the central hub the campaign, and setting up the other offline ads as invitations to explore the brand on the web.
Michelin doesn’t just make tires, and this virtual world shows that, in a figurative sense, the company is fully vested in developing solutions based on hard work and research that enhances our safety, our cars, and our world. (In a literal sense though, in addition to tires, they also make windshield wipers…but no one builds a computer animated world for windshield wipers…unless they do it in Second Life...I’ll stop spinning my wheels now…)-- Bradley Werner, director of marketing, The Fifth Network
Who doesn’t love the 1970s "Logan's Run," "EPCOT," "Sleeper" version of the future? Sure, it has slight fascist overtones, but it's so sunny, sleek and well designed the tradeoffs seem more than worth it. Michelin did a fine job of capturing exactly that sort of clean, orderly and hopefully version of the future with their "Better Way Forward" TV spot. They really did an outstanding job in extending that world with the website.
The site is gorgeous, fun to use, and has content that goes surprisingly deep. This is one of the best cases in recent memory of extending television creative online. The subject matter of a futuristic world is especially well suited to a site like this. It is exactly the sort of place you want to interact with, and it is so packed with games, photos, videos and downloadable treats that the user is really rewarded for making the effort to explore.
-- Patrick Barrett, senior interaction designer, Bazaarvoice