An A-Z of classic product mascots
Classic ads were filled with penguins, tigers and bears, oh my! And whatever Quisp was.
Once upon a time, television commercials were a menagerie of talking tigers, frogs, beavers, bears and storks. If you were selling a product, especially cereal, you needed a mascot. Yet there were cartoon characters for everything from toothpaste to the postal service.
The history of advertising is filled with hundreds of memorable mascots. There were too many to fit in our A-Z. These were some of the most interesting.
Which was your favorite?
1. Alpha-Bits Wizard
The cereal sage appeared on boxes and in ads in the 1970s and 1980s.
2. Bucky Beaver
Who better to sell Ipana Toothpaste in the late 1950s than an animal with giant choppers?
3. Charlie the Tuna
The fish made his debut in 1961. He was voiced by actor Herschel Bernardi, who also delivered lines for the Jolly Green Giant and asked, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
4. Dig 'Em
Remember when they were allowed to call them "Sugar Smacks"?
5. El Exigente
The Savarin Coffee seller of the 1960s and 1970s appeared after Juan Valdez.
6. Frito Bandito
The chip bandit was brought to life by Mel Blanc, the first voice of Speedy Gonzales.
Initially, the purple pear-shaped… thing was "Evil" and stole shakes. He also had four arms when he premiered in 1971.
8. Happy Hotpoint
9. Icee Polar Bear
The official bear of brain freeze.
10. Josephine the Plumber
She was sort of the Flo of the 1960s.
11. Kool-Aid Man
Oh, yeah! Originally, he was called the Pitcher Man and debuted in 1954.
12. Lucky the Leprechaun
They're after me charms! The marshmallow lover made his debut in 1964.
13. Marky Maypo
He would ask for his maple-flavored oatmeal by proclaiming, "I Want My Maypo!"
14. NesQuik Bunny
Farfel the Dig pitched the chocolate milk mix in the '50s and '60s.
15. Officer Crumb
Someone had to chase the Cookie Crook.
16. Poppin' Fresh
The Pillsbury Doughboy had the best name for a rapper all the way back in 1965.
He recently celebrated his 50th birthday.
18. Randy the Transistor Radio
Yes, there is a certain clown who starts with 'R' but we dug a little deeper for this 1963 radio man.
The Alka-Seltzer sprite even teamed up with Buster Keaton.
20. Tony the Tiger
Dallas McKennon, a.k.a. Cincinnatus on Daniel Boone, was once the voice of this grrrreat feline.
21. Uncle Ben
Purportedly based on a hotel maître d’ in Chicago.
22. Vlasic Stork
The Groucho Marx of large birds appeared in 1974.
23. Willie the Penguin
Off at the retirement home with Joe Camel.
24. Exxon Tiger
You try finding a mascot starting with 'X'.
25. Yipes the Zebra
The colorful equid appears on Fruit Stripe Gum.
26. Mr. Zip
Also known as Zippy, the cartoon character reminded folks to use a ZIP code in the 1960s. Remember, it was a new concept. ZIP codes began in 1963.