Friday, March 1, 2013

Discuss: Favorite Marketing Icons/Mascots









41 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

Reddy Kilowatt is an icon from my boyhood.

My dad worked for the local power plan, which was brand-spanking new when I was a tyke, and we took a tour when it was completed. One of the gems I got hold of back then was a cool Reddy Kilowatt nightlight. Loved it! Wish I still had it.

For more on Reddy check out this link:

http://www.reddykilowatt.org/

Reddy even had his own comics!

Rip Off

dbutler16 said...

Wow, I've never heard of Reddy Kilowatt.
I guess I've have to go with Count Choclua. He combined two wonderful things - chocolate and vampires. How can you bear that? The Cheetos cheetah (what was his name?) was pretty cool, too.

Edo Bosnar said...

Like, Rip, I thought of a more obscure one: the Kite Man. Anyone who grew up in or near Portland, OR, back in the late '70s will be familiar with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwO2DfS01rM
I can still recite that entire spot verbatim, and I, too, like frogs...

Matt Celis said...

Can't figure out how to copy a link using iphone, but if you google image search "this man wants to clean your clothes," you'll see my favorite. Creepy and hilarious, as
far as I know only in San Diego. Popular enough that they sold T-shirts.

Doug said...

Whoa, Matt...

That guy has a striking resemblance to former Illinois governor (now doing time, as 4 of our last 7 govs have) Rod Blagojevich!

Doug

david_b said...

Ah, Spuds McKenzie, everyone. Can't go wrong with him.

Seriously, I recall the neat space toys you'd get in Quisp cereal, those commercials were cool, with 'Quisp' himself flying around in his saucer.

I REALLY miss the Frito Bandito erasers; I believe he was used until some groups started getting offended by the stereotype.

Actually Doug, that image of the Green Giant's near/dear to my heart. Growing up in middle Wisconsin, I spent a good 5-6 years working in those steamy canning factories, 12hrs a night all summer long for college tuition.. It was tough work, but it kept me in college.

It doesn't surprise me that marketing icons don't seem to have that much stayin' power anymore in society for the past few decades.

Matt Celis said...

That mascot goes back at least 20 years.
Maybe Rod's working the laundry shift in prison.

William said...

I used to like the breakfast cereal mascots like, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Booberry, Snap, Crackle, but not Pop (kidding), Tony The Tiger, Cap'n Crunch, etc.

Or how about Ronald McDonald? There's an iconic mascot if ever there was one.

Why don't we talk about most annoying mascot, like the Energizer Bunny, or Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads?

Doug said...

When I was a kid, I hated the Snuggle teddy bear.

Flo is near the top of my hate list now, as is the redhead on the Wendy's commercials.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

Bob's Big Boy even had his own comic book...too bad there are so few Big Boys now.

Anonymous said...

The Staypuft Marshmallow man. every time.

Richard

david_b said...

Whaaaaat...?? No love for Flo..(as I spit up my coffee..)?

She's HOT.

There's been on-line popularity contests between her and the T1 Mobile girl (in the pink leather motorcycle outfit and such..).

Flo's entertaining and funny. At least she'd be fun on roadtrips, not just a pretty face to look at.

Doug said...

Sorry, David --T-Mobile girl EVERY TIME!

You were being sarcastic, right? Please?

"Age hasn't affected my eyes nor my comedic sensibilities" Doug

Doug said...

I was offended the first time I saw the TV commercial with the animated Col. Sanders dancing and rapping about Kentucky Fried Chicken. Seemed sacrilegious...

Many of the mascots/icons over the years have had a tag line, like Tony the Tiger, or the Green Giant's "Ho ho ho... Green Giant!" Any favorites here?

Doug

Anonymous said...

Doug, how about "But Cholley, Starkist don't want tuna with taste. Starkist wants tuna that tastes good." (Sorry Charlie)

Tom

Garett said...

Tony the Tiger! I'd watch a cartoon starring him. Here's an early version of him...now I'm watching old tv commercials:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6sw39pPrr8

Funny Kite Man ad Edo! Frogs.

Redartz said...

Like David_b, I have fond memories of Quisp. Also of Quisp's competitor Quake, another product of Jay Ward studio's commercial work. Those ads were great, with many VoiceOvers familiar to any Rocky and Bullwinkle fan. Of course Cap'n Crunch was the mainstay of the Quaker Oats group, also with memorable commercials. Jean La Foote, anyone?

Incidentally, the Cap'n lost much of his appeal after the Ward studios ads ceased. These days, he looks a bit scary/hyper, as if he has eaten a few too many bowls of Crunchberries...

Anonymous said...

Lots of memories here, but I have to say, I don't think any "mascot" has ever made me want to rush out and buy whatever product they're shilling for. Some of them are entertaining, but they don't actually make me want the merchandise too much.

Doug, I agree with you about that redhead on the Wendy's commercials...she IS annoying; but I kinda like Flo (although they probably should've stopped after the third or fourth commercial instead of running it into the ground). I kinda feel bad for the actress that plays Flo...she'll be so typecast, she won't be able to get another job; she'll end up like the Maytag repairman or Mr. Whipple!

Mike W.

Doug said...

About a decade ago, I loved the "I love you, man!" Budweiser ads. Johnny never won.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGQyv-43334

"Jane, Joan, whatever..." Memorable line from another one of those spots.

Doug

Tony said...

david_b---Spuds McKenzie in actuality was a female dog.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spuds_MacKenzie

My favorite was Sugar Bear..Can't get enough of those Sugar Crisps...

dbutler16 said...

Matt, yes I had, and even still have, a few issues of the Big Boy comicc book!

And I meant "How can you beat that?" not "How can you bear that?" in my previous post. what can I say, I'm a lousy typer.

david_b said...

Tony, WOW. Thanks.. With all the adoring females hanging around the dog, the public never had the impression he was a 'she'.

(Hmm, I'll leave the inevitable leud induendoes at a safe distance..)

And Doug, sorry sir, no sarcasm intended. She's perky, funny, hip, would be a hoot at parties or out camping (as her later commercials show...).

T-Mobile..? Eh, dim-witted eyecandy.

Edo Bosnar said...

Tony, yes! My very favorite of the cartoon cereal mascots was Sugar Bear, too. He was just so cool, kind of a suave, mellow version of Yogi.

Ray Tomczak said...

Does the Pink Panther count? He did have his own cereal way back in the 70's. In fact, Pink Panther Flakes was one of my favorite cereals when I was a kid.

William Preston said...

Funny. Pink Panther was the first one to occur to me as well.

Redartz said...

Edo- yes, Sugar Bear was pretty cool. I always thought he was channelling Bing Crosby.

Garett said...

Haha--yes, I agree with Sugar Bear too! Yogi Crosby? : )

Garett said...

A&W Root Bear--liked his theme song. It's the first thing I learned on trombone in grade 7 band class!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqb33EeQhFg

Karen said...

Late to the party, but I thought of Smokey the Bear -he did a lot to promote awareness of forest fires, a big deal at least out in California. I believe he had a cartoon at one point, and I had a stuffed bear version that I just adored as a wee tyke.

Along similar lines, but years later, we had Woodsey Owl, whose "Give a hoot, don't pollute" still echoes through my noggin.

Anthony said...

I think Mr. Mayhem from the Allstate commercials is pretty funny.

Anthony said...

I think my all time favorite was Caroline Munro in the Noxzema commercials in the late 70s. There was Great Balls Of Comfort and the follow up where Caroline was Auntie Friction.

Anonymous said...

Colonel Sanders is one if my favourites, although I have to agree with Doug when he says he didn't like the rapping version.

Hmmm ... how about Chef Boyardee? Most people think he's a fictional character made up by a marketing firm, but he's real!

The Michelin tyre man is another favourite - once you see him ,you instantly think 'tyres!' - the quintessential mascot.

As for Flo, I kinda like her - she's perky, funny and irreverent, qualities I never thought I'd see together in a pitchwoman for an insurance ad. The Geico lizard (and now a pig) is just plain annoying.


- Mike 'I'd assassinate Ronald McDonald - for free!' from Trinidad& Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Lurker here...
I have honestly felt bad for that silly rabbit my entire life

humanbelly said...

The list is nigh-endless, isn't it? Particularly if you were 4 to 7 hours of TV a day kid (!!!) like I very often was. (Reeeeeeeally regret all that tube time now, believe me-).

Maurice (Morris?) the finicky 9-Lives cat.
Kids' cereals often went through a succession of mascots: Sugar Smacks had Quickdraw McGraw at one point, and then nothing, really. Cocoa Puffs had cave-family Kell & Ogg (claymation, and fairly hilarious), and then that screechily annoying "Koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs" bird-creature. Sugar Bear became Honey Bear and then became. . . what? The Trix Rabbit's Sisyphean existence troubled me FAR more than it made me want to buy the cereal (plus Trix were kinda "enh"). Toucan Sam, Lucky the Leprechaun, the Cheerios Kid, Tony the Tiger (whose voice-actor, Thurl Ravencroft, I was FOREVER able to recognize in other venues!)-- man, they populated the Saturday morning airwaves.

One of my favorites in recent years were the two guys that did the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" campaign. That really could have kept going, as far as I was concerned.

HB, w/ the random contributions. . .

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, as far as Maurice/Morris the cat goes, that voice and snobby, smart-a** attitude were so perfectly done. I've had many (many) pet cats since then, and I'll tell you, if they could talk that's what they'd sound like (yes, even the females).

Doug said...

In regard to the Pink Panther (who I believe today is still used to endorse Owens-Corning Pink Fiberglass Insulation), there were several other existing characters who became spokes-mascots:

Peanuts for Dolly Madison snack cakes
Flintstones for Cocoa- and Fruity Pebbles cereal
Flintstones (and several others) for children's daily chewable vitamins

Do you have others?

Doug

david_b said...

Peanuts do MET Life commercials, have for years.

It's odd having comic strip characters in marketing.

NO one mentioned the 'Fig Newton' guy who did the funny dance back in the early '70s...?

(Like that song'll EVER get out of your head...)

Doug said...

Chewy, Ooey, Gooey on the Inside,
Golden, tender, flaky on the outside

That one??

Scarred for life. But I did like those commercials.

The Fruit of the Loom guys have made some good ads through the years.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

Captain Tootsie?

Ace Hamilton said...

The Expendables with cereal mascots:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rYPExUWNJYA/UIlwfeUzuUI/AAAAAAAA0-c/4tWArzqD5y4/w497-h373/the-breakfastables-expendables-style-cereal-mascot-team.png

Ace Hamilton said...

What about Kool-Aid Man? Every time kids got thirsty, he would burst through the nearest wall. I always wanted to see one of his ads set at Hoover Dam.

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