I heard a TV jungle the other day on youtube of the snap, crackle, pop Rice Krispie boys. The video was in black and white and I clicked on more videos and began seeing a pattern. In the 50s, 60s and 70s we had a lot of commercial mascots and it got me thinking…
You can call it what you want. Pitch person, front man/woman, but Americans have a love affair with their mascots. These silly, cute and sometimes creepy icons are the very backbone of American marketing in our country.
From cereal to Kool-aid, to tuna and frozen vegetables, there has always been a mascot to sell products. These personifications have become how we relate to the products that we purchase and eat. It is actually how we as consumers relate to a product.
I mean come on, Charlie the tuna got millions of people cracking open the tuna can and making casseroles and sandwiches. Hostess created a host of mascots including Twinkie the Kid, Captain Cupcake, King Don, Happy Ho Ho, Fruit Pie the Magician, and Chauncey Choco-Dile which helped sell billions of sugary process boxed goodies to Americans despite obesity and diabetes.
Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Sonny The Cuckoo Bird, That Silly Rabbit, The Snap Crackle Pop boys, Captain Crunch, Sugar Bear , Lucky the Leprechaun, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula helped us down millions and millions of tons of sugary cereal. It sold us hook sink and line mainly because we could relate to the mascots who gave us fun and joy even if we did not eat their product. Come on, Frosted Flakes are GRRRRRRRRREAT!
Of course it didn’t stop there. We needed the Jolly Green Giant to get us to eat our vegetables, Miss Chiquita to eat fruit, Yipes The Zebra to chew yummy fruit striped gum, and M&M’s to eat yummy candy coated Chocolate. Of course after all that we had to give Speedy the Alka Seltzer guy so we would not get indigestion and upset stomach.
I am unsure where we would be today without these mascots that we grew to love. I think as of late, we have lost some great mascots along the way. Sure we have a handful of commercial mascots. Who doesn’t like the GEICO Gecko, and Chester Cheetah for Cheetos, but we just don’t have as many anymore. I say we should bring back our mascots. Here is a small list of mascots of our time. I salute them!
JosephineThe Plumber – Comet Cleanser
Kedso The Clown – Ked’s Brand Sneakers
Mr. Bubble – Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath
Ernie and the Keebler Elves– Keebler Foods
The Pillsbury Doughboy – Pillsbury Rolls/Products
Jolly Green Giant – Green Giant Vegetables
Frito Bandito – Frito Lay Corn Chips
Chicken of The Sea Mermaid – Chicken of The Sea Tuna
Mrs. Butterworth – Mrs. Butterworth Pancake Syrup
Chef Boyardee – Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta
Ronald McDonald – McDonalds Restaurants
W.C. Fritos – Frito Lay Corn Chips
Buster Brown & Tige The dog – Buster Brown Shoes
Kenner Gooney Bird – Kenner’s Toy Company
Sun-Maid Raisins Girl – Sun-Maid Raisins
Umbrella Girl – Morton Salt
White Knight – Ajax Laundry Detergent
The Campbell’s Soup Kids – Campbell’s Soup
Quaker Oats Man – Quaker Oats Cereal
Mr. Owl – Tootsie Rolls & Tootsie Pops
The California Raisins – California Raisins
Madge The Manicurist – Palmolive Dish Washing Detergent
Marky Maypo – Maypo Cereal
Mrs. Olson – Folgers Coffee
George Whipple – Charmin Toilet Paper
Morris The Cat – 9 Lives Cat Food
Mr. Peanut – Planters Peanuts
Quiky The Bunny – Nestle’s Quik
Mr. Clean – Mr. Clean
Punchy – Hawaiian Punch Drink Mix
Choo Choo Charlie – Good & Plenty Candy
Sailor Jack & Bingo – Cracker Jacks
Mother Nature – Chiffon Margarine
Popsicle Pete – Popsicle Frozen Pops
Polar Bear – Icee
Ty-D-Bol Man – Ty-D-Bol Toilet Cleaner
Honeycomb Kid – Post’s Honeycomb Cereal