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The Advertising Century

The Michelin Man

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PRODUCT: Michelin tires
DATE INTRODUCED: 1898
CREATOR: Idea conceived by Edouard Michelin; artist's rendition created by O'Galop; DDB Needham Worldwide handled later executions

Andre Michelin commissioned the creation of this jolly, rotund figure after his brother, Edouard, observed that a display of stacked tires resembled a human form. The artist's sketches of a bloated man made of tires was exactly what the brothers had in mind.

One in particular, picturing the character lifting a beer glass and shouting, "Nunc est bibendum! (Now is the time to drink!)" seemed to embody Michelin's slogan at the time, "Michelin tires swallow up all obstacles."

The artist reworked the hulking figure, replacing the beer bottle with a goblet of nails and glass that the character rose in a toast to all road hazards.

Today, the Michelin Man is one of the world's oldest and most recognized trademarks and it represents Michelin in over 150 countries.

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