This icon never tires of being a favorite
Sep 1, 2004 12:00 PM
He is the most experienced candidate in the field, an award-winning legend, and a favorite of motorists for more than 105 years. Now, the Michelin Man is seeking votes as he campaigns to become the favorite icon of consumers.
A contest, being sponsored by Advertising Week in New York City, was created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies to recognize contributions of advertising to the economy. The Michelin Man and other nominated icons officially launched their campaigns Aug 5, 2004, at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
The Michelin Man will do battle with 25 other brand icons, including the Energizer Bunny, Tony the Tiger, Ronald McDonald, and the AFLAC duck.
Born in 1898, the Michelin Man (named Bibendum in other parts of the world) is renowned as the face of Michelin throughout the world. He was already voted as the “Best Logo of the Century” in 2000 by a panel of advertising experts in a competition organized by the Financial Times.
But how did the Michelin Man “come to life?” During a trade show in Lyon, France, in 1894, Edouard and Andre Michelin noticed how a stack of their tires resembled a rotund, jolly man.
In 1898, Andre enlisted O'Gallop, a well-known illustrator, to bring the tire-man character to life in a now-famous poster. In it, the Michelin Man quotes the Latin poet Horace, saying “Nunc est Bibendum”, or “Now is the time to drink”, and the tagline “The Michelin tire drinks up obstacles.”
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