The mascot of Groupe Michelin, sometimes known as the Michelin Man. Bibendum, or ‘Bib’ as his friends call him, was originally composed of a large pile of inner tubes formed into the shape of a man. His name is derived from the Latin phrase Nunc
est Bibendum, “Now is the time to
drink!” The phrase refers to the reputed ability of Michelin-brand tyres
and tubes to drink nails and other obstacles in their path.
According to the book, One hundred years of the Michelin Man,
by Olivier Darmon, published by Hoëbeke in October 1997, the mascot was
created for an advertising campaign launched in April 1898.
Bib has gone through a number of design changes, the most
recent in 1994, when Michelin was launching a new range of products into the
Japanese market. Their marketing team felt Bib was a bit too fat for the
Japanese taste, and so he was slimmed down in all artwork produced for the