Thursday, November 25, 2010

FIVE COMMERCIAL MASCOTS THAT DON'T SUCK

Recently, I wrote a couple of guest blogs for Alex James State of Affairs, which can be found here, and here. The first one was a list of some of my favorite commercials – a fun little endeavor that gave me an excuse to watch some television (research!). I’ve decided to follow up on that with a second (this won’t become a series, I assure you) look at the commercial ad world. So brace yourself, dear reader, for we are about to descend into the wacky world of commercial mascots

It has come to my attention that Energizer has seemingly done away with their famous bunny. While I always liked the little pink furball, he has been going (and going…and going…and going…) for quite some time now, and could probably use a rest. Now the battery company features anthropomorphic household items, singing and dancing, and having an otherwise merry ol’ time, until they collapse into twitching heaps from over-exertion (and, of course, non-Energizer batteries).


In honor of the our long eared friend’s retirement, I thought I’d take a quick peak at some other famous advertising mascots over the years who have, at least to my knowledge, also been left behind.

Warning, dear reader – nostalgia ahead!

Fido Dido

Fido Dido was originally a napkin doodle created by Joanna Ferrone and Sun Rose. The two later stuck Fido on t-shirts with the inane slogan “Fido is for Fido, Fido is against no one” emblazoned beneath him. For some inexplicable reason, these t-shirts were very popular in New York. Licensed by PepsiCo in 1988, Fido became a commercial celebrity by hocking 7-Up. He even had a video game based on his antics, created for the Sega Mega Drive, but it was about as successful as you would assume a video game for the Sega Mega Drive starring a commercial mascot would be.

A&W Bear

The Great Root Bear (get it?) is still used for some A&W products, but his television saturation has become extremely limited. Sporting his orange sweater and pom pom hat, the Root Bear would often greet us on screen accompanied by his trademark theme song – a tuba driven jingle appropriately called “Ba-Dum, Ba-Dum.” The song was actually released as a single in Canada; the bear, however, was replaced by this guy.


Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, the kindly old founder of Wendy’s restaurants (famous for their square burgers and terrible French fries) was also the kindly old mascot for the chain – appearing in over 800 commercials from 1989-2002. His old man charm combined with his old man looks made him the most adorable human mascot in the history of fast food. And then he died.

The Noid

The Noid was red-suited, rabbity looking creature, who hated Dominoes pizza for some reason, and would stop at nothing to thwart their attempts to bring hot circles of goodness to the hungry masses. Like most things that don’t make any sense, he was created in the ‘80s.

Ronald McDonald’s Creepy Background Characters

I think the majority of these fine freaky folks may still be in rotation on TV - prancing around McDonald land, eating fatty foods and being generally creepy. The gang's all here - Grimace, the Hamburglar, that bird thing, the fluffy guys who I think are supposed to be french fries, some talking food...and yet, it's been a while since I've come face to face with any of them (other than the clown) for quite some time. Whether it's because they have been removed from distribution, or because I have just carefully avoided them for the past fifteen years, is, as always, debatable.

So there you have it, folks. Some long gone commercial celebrities from a bygone era...some fondly remembered, others...not so much. What are some of your favorite commercial mascots?

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