Slimline look for Michelin man as brand icon returns

The Michelin man, one of the most famous brand icons, is being resurrected after an absence of eight years in a new multi-million pound advertising push for the tyre manufacturer.

The character has been slimmed down for a new television campaign, which breaks on March 5. The company has not advertised on TV since 2003 and the Michelin man has not featured in its advertising since 1999.

Michelin claims that 83% of people in the UK recognise the Michelin man and it was named advertising icon of the century by the Financial Times in 2000.

The company’s UK head of marketing, Thierry Rudloff, says: “We’ve refreshed him because he’s a key asset for us. We’ve slimmed him down because it shows the evolution of people and is a way of keeping up with changes in society. He demonstrates the evolution of society but also the evolution of the brand and the world we live in.”

The campaign, which will run for five weeks and also includes outdoor, press and digital advertising, has been created by Michelin’s retained advertising agency TBWA and marks a “substantial” increase in investment in the Michelin brand, which has also just revamped its restaurant guide and launched a new guide for London.

The Michelin man is the latest brand icon to be revived in recent months. Cadbury is bringing back the “Flake girl” after five years, while npower is “kidnapping” British Gas character Sid to use in its own advertising (MW last week).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here