Advertising’s Best Mascots

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!

More Popular Advertising Icons
 Product / Company
SpeedyAlka Seltzer (1952-64)
Luggage Mauling GorillaAmerican Tourister (1970-80s
Spuds McKenzieBud Light beer
Floyd D. DuckBubble Yum Bubble Gum
Sailor Jack and his dog, BingoCracker Jack Snacks
Arthur Goodwin, pharmacistCrest Toothpaste
The NoidDomino’s Pizza
Fred the BakerDunkin’ Donuts
The PuttermanDuracell Batteries
The Dutch BoyDutch Boy Painta
Roaring TigerEsso Oil / Exxon
Mr. SpleenFederal Express
Florida Orange BirdFlorida Department of Citrus
Franken BerryFranken Berry Cereal
Frito BanditoFritos Lay
The Australian geckoGEICO Insurance
The Helping HandHamburger Helper
Choo-Choo CharlieGood & Plenty candy
Little Old WinemakerItalian Swiss Colony Wine
Bucky BeaverIpana Toothpaste
Toucan SamKellogg’s Fruit Loops Cereal
Colonel SandersKFC Restaurants
Milton the ToasterKellogg’s Pop-Tarts
Jack, the antenna manJack-in-the-Box Restaurants
The ElkThe Hartford Insurance Co.
Sharpie the ParrotGillette Blue Blade razors

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