Michelin is launching the fourth ad in its first global advertising push, the two-year-old "The Right Tire Changes Everything" campaign. The new element talks about safety, and features the Michelin Man, who got liposuction, and a more socially conscious mien in 2007 for the "A Better Way Forward" U.S. campaign. "The Right Tire Changes Everything" had the Michelin Man, now a slimmed-down athletic discus-style hurler of tires, taking on evil gasoline pumps.
In the new ad, the Michelin mascot is in an animated world of mobility in which people navigate dangerous rain and roads slick with water, while being assaulted by sentient raindrops. With a Pixar feel and rhymed voiceover, a father and son in a cute cartoon car drive along a road as the rain starts to fall.
The voiceover says, "Max and his son made their way homeward bound, when mischievous rain fell down, down down; safety was threatened by every roguish drip, they slipped and slid, they couldn't get a grip." The Michelin man appears at roadside throwing tires like Frisbees.
The effort touts Michelin's Primacy MXM4 brand of tires that are designed to brake in shorter distances in wet conditions.
The new ad will appear this month on television, in print media and on the Web, as well as being displayed on the official Michelin Man Facebook page and YouTube channel. The national television spot will launch June 20.
A Michelin representative said the creative will run in North America and Europe, and that brand awareness isn't an issue. "Michelin's brand awareness is already extremely high, and has ongoing sponsorship programs (for example, participation in the American Le Mans Series)."
Separately, Michelin North America's Chairman and President Richard "Dick" Wilkerson has announced he will retire by the end of this year. He will be chairman emeritus of Michelin North America. Pete Selleck, currently president of Michelin Truck Tires worldwide, will return to Greenville, S.C., from Michelin's global headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France, to succeed him.