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Michelin TV ad campaign to aid humane society

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In Michelin North America Inc.'s new television commercial, which debuted nationwide on May 3, the company's Michelin Man character is reunited with a friend he hasn't seen in a long time -- his pet dog.

In the 30-second spot, titled "Lost Friend," the Michelin Man relies on the rugged performance capabilities of Michelin light truck tires as he bravely overcomes difficult terrain, fallen tree limbs and dark, stormy weather to find his lost pet, which shares a striking resemblance to the popular Michelin Man brand icon, says the company.

The ad marks the first time the Michelin Man has been seen with a dog since they appeared together in a series of posters circa 1925.

In conjunction with the new ad campaign, Michelin will become the official sponsor of the American Humane Society's Red Star Emergency Services program, which assists people and their pets in times of disaster.

Michelin is donating $200,000 to purchase new emergency response vehicles, develop specialized training curriculum for responders and sponsor a local community service award.

And in support of the program, Michelin is offering a limited edition collectible bobblehead doll featuring the Michelin Man and his dog.

It will be available through participating Michelin tire dealers in the U.S. with the purchase of new tires and online for $17.75 (plus shipping and handling) at www.michelinman.com. $5 from the sale of each doll will directly benefit Red Star Emergency Services.

"The story line of "Lost Friend" affirms the strong bond between truck owners and their vehicles, bringing it to life through the loyal and loving relationships they share with their pets," said Sheryl Henderson, Michelin brand director, Michelin Americas Small Tires.

Created by Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Detroit, the new spot is the ninth in a series that has brought the Michelin Man back into the spotlight.

"Consumer research and testing shows that the Michelin Man remains one of the most recognizable brand icons in the world," said Julia Francke, senior vice president for Campbell-Ewald. "Recent ads featuring the Michelin Man rank extremely high in all measures of brand recognition, persuasion and memorability. 'Lost Friend' ranked among the top 7% of ads tested by Millward Brown."

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