Michelin’s geocaching adventure concludes

Bib popped up in unexpected locations all around the world

Within less than 100 days, Bibendum – better known as the Michelin Man – has travelled through 44 countries and clocked up a staggering 1.3 million miles on his journey. He’s been out and about as part of Michelin North America’s geocaching event, held to celebrate the tyre maker’s 125th anniversary. This quest has now come to an end, and the company says using geocaching as a means to mark 125 years in the business was an “ideal match” for Michelin’s vision of mobility.

Michelin partnered with Geocaching HQ, the company responsible for the worldwide phenomenon of geocaching, to launch a nationwide photo contest. The Michelin ‘Quest for Adventure’ started with an open invitation for geocachers in the USA to request and then place tyre pressure gauges shaped like the Michelin Man. Equipped with a unique alphanumeric code to make them trackable, all of the gauges were ordered in less than an hour – a record launch for a branded promotion conducted by Geocaching HQ.

Geocaching is the world’s largest orienteering recreational activity – boasts a community of over 10 million players around the globe. Over a period of approximately four months, the Michelin Man pressure gauges were tracked to destinations on five continents, traveling 1.3 million miles in less than 100 days. During his international travels, Bibendum visited numerous iconic landmarks. Participants entered the contest by submitting photos of their adventures with the Michelin Man on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Michelin ultimately received more than 1,000 photos.

“When the Michelin brothers started the Company 125 years ago, they envisioned that sustainable and reliable mobility were the keys to discovery, adventure and freedom,” said Jennifer Smith, director of brands for Michelin North America, Inc. “In this digital era, geocaching helps keep the spirit of exploration alive – whether around your neighbourhood or around the globe. It was an ideal match for us.”

“The Michelin campaign delivered one of the most widely embraced branded campaigns in recent memory,” added Bryan Roth, co-founder of Geocaching HQ. “This promotion generated huge excitement among geocachers which is clear from the creativity and content we witnessed from their photos. Our collective mission of delivering an interactive engaging branded promotion has soundly exceeded all expectations.”

Although the Michelin Quest for Adventure is now officially over, the Michelin Man pressure gauges will continue to travel around the world. As they pass from hand to hand, their journeys will continue to be recorded online, shared through social media and revisited for years to come.

The tyre maker awarded a set of Michelin tyres to the ten “most creative, adventure-inspired photos” and then let the public decide the grand prize winner by an open-vote on the MichelinUSA Facebook page. The top ten finalists can be viewed on the Michelin.geocaching.com site.

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