Each year it seems like a new character comes on the scene to promote a product or service. They’re animals and humans and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They have names such as Tony, Betty, and Ronald.
Some, we love… others annoy us and still others make us angry (e.g. Phillip Morris’ “Marlboro Man.”). But regardless of our feelings, we must acknowledge that successful ones have a tremendous worldwide impact – especially those that have been around for a long time. Take for example, good old Mr. Whipple, who reminded us never to squeeze the “Charmin.” Consumers old enough to remember, still associate the product with him, even though these commercial stopped running in 1989!
From frozen vegetables to packaged cake mixes, fast food to automobile tires, and cereal to batteries, these carefully created cultural icons become the personifications of the businesses they represent (and it’s interesting to note that many of the most famous ad icons were the brainchild of one agency: Chicago-based, Leo Burnett Company).
Possibly The 10 Most Important Advertising Icons
Not too long ago, the magazine, Advertising Age developed a list of the ten most importance advertising icons – ones that had the greatest resonance in the marketplace based on effectiveness, longevity, awareness and cultural impact – of the 20th Century. They are:
- The Marlboro Man – Phillip Morris’s Marlboro cigarettes.
- Ronald McDonald – McDonald’s Restaurants.
- The Jolly Green Giant – Green Giant Vegetables.
- Betty Crocker – Betty Crocker food products.
- The Energizer Bunny – Eveready’s Energizer batteries.
- The Pillsbury Doughboy – Assorted Pillsbury foods.
- Aunt Jemima – Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrup.
- The Michelin Man – Michelin tires.
- Tony the Tiger – Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes.
- Elsie – Borden’s dairy products.
More Advertising Brands That Have Captured Imaginations Far And Wide
Below are some more… I’ve listed the icon and the company or product it represents. Just for fun, try covering up the right side and see how many you know. Also, add some of your own. You’ll be surprised at how many you know! Enjoy!
Product / Company
|Speedy||Alka Seltzer (1952-64)|
|Luggage Mauling Gorilla||American Tourister (1970-80s|
|Spuds McKenzie||Bud Light beer|
|Floyd D. Duck||Bubble Yum Bubble Gum|
|Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo||Cracker Jack Snacks|
|Arthur Goodwin, pharmacist||Crest Toothpaste|
|The Noid||Domino’s Pizza|
|Fred the Baker||Dunkin’ Donuts|
|The Putterman||Duracell Batteries|
|The Dutch Boy||Dutch Boy Painta|
|Roaring Tiger||Esso Oil / Exxon|
|Mr. Spleen||Federal Express|
|Florida Orange Bird||Florida Department of Citrus|
|Franken Berry||Franken Berry Cereal|
|Frito Bandito||Fritos Lay|
|The Australian gecko||GEICO Insurance|
|The Helping Hand||Hamburger Helper|
|Choo-Choo Charlie||Good & Plenty candy|
|Little Old Winemaker||Italian Swiss Colony Wine|
|Bucky Beaver||Ipana Toothpaste|
|Toucan Sam||Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Cereal|
|Colonel Sanders||KFC Restaurants|
|Milton the Toaster||Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts|
|Jack, the antenna man||Jack-in-the-Box Restaurants|
|The Elk||The Hartford Insurance Co.|
|Sharpie the Parrot||Gillette Blue Blade razors|