Some of the mascots were live animals, like the Taco Bell Chihuahua and some of these mascots were here to excite us like the Kool-Aid Man. Mascots serve a purpose whether to inspire us to eat a certain cereal, bring us back to more nostalgic times, or to educate us on the problems lurking in our society. Some mascots have changed so little over time they’ve proved to be so popular that they’ve maintained the same images over the years.
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Here are the Top 10 Most Memorable Advertising Mascots of All Time
10. Smokey the Bear
Smokey is a mascot that was created to teach the community about the hazards of woodland fires. This mascot has been around since 1944 and still used to this day to educate the youth about forest fires and how it impacts our country and world. Smokey Bear’s popular slogan “Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires” was shaped in 1947 by the United States Advertising Council. In April of 2001 the slogan changed a little bit to “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.” In the United States 95% of adults and 77% of children recognize this mascot thanks to the efforts of the Advertising Council.
9. Taco Bell Chihuahua
Taco Bell fans recognize the taco bell Chihuahua but most of them don’t know is her name is Gidget. She is most famous for her line “Yo Quero Taco Bell?” Besides Gidget was a stand in chihuahua named Taco. Carlos Alazraqui was the voice of Gidget who was typically presented as a male in the commercials. This mascot was so popular in American culture that stuffed animals and toys were created of the Taco Bell dog. Gidget was sadly affected by a stroke at the age of 15 and was put down by use of euthanasia. She lived a long fulfilling life as a very successful mascot.
8. McGruff the Crime Dog
Similar to Smokey the Bear, McGruff was created by the United States Ad Council to educate people on the effects of child abduction, anti-drugs and anti-bullying campaign. As of 2008 nine out of ten Americans recognized McGruff and the message he spread through our youth. McGruff was created in 1979 and has been a part of our lives since teaching us how to deal with cyber bullying and elder crime.
7. Toucan Sam
Everyone knows Toucan Sam from the Fruit Loops Commercials. He has a familiar toucan beak and a light blue and white body. Toucan was created in 1963 and hasn’t changed too much over the years. He’s familiar to the elderly and the youth of America for his excitement over Fruit Loops. He has been so popular he’s been featured on Family Guy where Brian tries out for a role playing the animated and excited toucan.
6. Gerber Baby
In 1928 there was a search for a cute baby to represent their new line of baby foods. Dorothy Hope Smith of Westport, Connecticut, designed the portrait as a rough charcoal drawing and promised to make it more appealing and finished looking if the image was to be used. Gerber came back and said they loved the image so much they wanted no changes to be made. The Gerber baby image has changed very little over the years and is extremely noticeable amongst other baby food brands in grocery aisles.
5. Lucky the Leprechaun
John Holahan created Lucky Charms in 1962. Lucky the mascot was created a year later in 1963. Lucky was previously known as Sir Charms and was originally named L.C. Leprechaun. His name might have changed over the years but the character hasn’t evolved too terribly much. The ideas for the charms in the cereal came from the idea of having charms on a bracelet. Lucky’s voice was performed by the same man for many years until it changed in 1992.
4. Kool-Aid Guy
The Kool Aid Man used to be called the Pitcher Man. He’s an excited pitcher of Kool Aid that smashes through walls and furniture chanting the phrase, “Oh Yeah!” with an excited deep voice. The pitcher always has a smiley face on the front of the pitcher. He’s been so popular in American culture he’s been featured on The Simpsons and Family Guy. The Kool Aid Man or The Pitcher Man was created in 1954 and has since been updated with clothes on. He is still however filled with cherry Kool Aid.
3. Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald was created in 1963 to play the clown mascot for McDonald’s. He originally lived in a fantasy world with characters living with characters like Mayor Cheese and The Hamburlger. The McDonalds franchise has since let go of the fantasy McDonaldland and is now seen regularly with real life children. Many people dress up as Ronald McDonald every year to visit restaurant guests and sick children. There is even a Ronald McDonald house where families can stay so they can be nearby their sick children in the hospital.
2. Pillsbury Doughboy
The Pillsbury Doughboy’s real name is Poppin Fresh! He is the cheerful puffy mascot of Pillsbury Dough products. His first appearance was in 1965 and he’s been extremely popular with the American public ever since. The most we usually get out of Poppin Fresh is a cute Tee-Hee or Hoo-Hoo when he gets a quick poke to the stomach. Originally Poppin Fresh was designed using claymation but more recently he’s been designed using CGI.
1. Tony the Tiger
Tony has been available to the public since 1952 and has been evolving with the public and remember since then. His most popular phrase is “They’re gggggrrrreat!” Early on Tony the Tiger was given a son named Tony Jr who also became a very popular part of American society. Tony has graced the front of Frosted Flakes packages with Huckleberry Hound and Snagglepuss. The cereal was also popular in the UK and was presented with the song “Eye of the Tiger.”
This list brings back nostalgic feelings to most of us and reminds us of our childhood and the foods we shared together in our families. The mascots make us feel connected as they appeal to our human side whether they are educating us about the causes of forest fires, fighting cyber-bullying or just encouraging us to eat a happy and healthy breakfast.