British Advertising Posters: April

In this monthly series we’re highlighting posters from Michelin’s British advertising campaigns. Featuring recognisable straplines, occasional British institutions and fabulously eye-catching designs – as well as appearances from Bibendum, naturally! – we’re sure many of you will recognise or remember them fondly from back in the day.

Bibendum Plays Up to the Camera (1926)

In the mid-1920s Michelin brought an important innovation to the automotive world by creating the “Comfort tyre”. To advertise the safety characteristics of this low-pressure tyre, i.e. that it couldn’t possibly come off by itself, Michelin used the fashionable cinema techniques of the day. In this golden age of mute automobile pranksters like Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, etc., this poster announced a demonstration film of actual research at Michelin’s French Research Centre, where a glass of milk was set on a running-board while a motor-car went over a thick wooden plank! The poster portrays Bibendum as the camera man filming the tests.

The “Comfort tyre”, complete with trefoil pattern, also features in the wonderfully vibrant 1927 poster below.