Do You Know the Michelin Man?

Do You Know the Michelin Man?
March 20, 2007
Michelin offers a better way forward with this new interactive and educational infosite for the road of tomorrow.
Creative Notes
Firefox and Opera compatible
Campaign Details
Client: Michelin North America, Inc.
Campaign Insight
Do you know the Michelin Man? The big white fluffy guy with big eyes and cute, welcoming smile? He has been around since 1898 and has gone through several redesigns, only to be re-invented and transported into the "Road of Tomorrow" for Michelin's new "Better Way Forward" campaign.

When you enter the bio dome at the site, he invites you to explore different innovations the Michelin company is developing to make the roads of tomorrow safer, greener and more fun. You can check out what Michelin is doing to ensure its tires can handle anything the weary road throws at drivers in the "Your Safety" section. Or go to the "Greener World" area and see how Michelin plans to contribute to a sustainable future through recycling. If you feel like relaxin', head to the lounge and kick up your heels with the Michelin dude, buy Michelin Man goods, play games or send info onto a friend.

The site is not only a PR venture for Michelin, one that shows users how the company is innovating with its customer and the environment in mind, but it is also an educational vehicle that allows users to have fun while getting informed.
-- Krisserin Canary, associate editor, iMediaConnection

Editor's Note
Creative Showcase is meant to be a teaching tool and an inspiration for our readers. We comment only on creative that we really love. Our panelists discuss what makes it great, but if they feel there were missed opportunities that would have made it better, we invite them to mention those. And finally, we seek out a wide range of opinions that reflect the marketplace for the panel, in order to provide constructive, useable feedback for agencies, clients and others involved in these creative pieces.
The Panel
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

Footnote: Submissions are judged by a panel of industry experts from and based on the following criteria: how the creative captures the specific customer; how it meets the brand's business needs; impact of execution; and creativity. If you would like your creative considered for Creative Showcase, send an email to creative@imediaconnection.com.
 

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