McDonaldland is a very strange place; a mayor made of meat and cheese, the police chief is a Big Mac and named Big Mac, the myriad of crimes perpetrated by the Hamburger, and at the center of all of these oddities is a clown. But there is one aspect of this universe that has a sobering effect upon all; Grimace. Yes, Grimace. He (or she) may just look like a big purple gumdrop, but there is much more to the character. He (or she) is the true stabilizing force in the McDonald-verse and really ties the entire character ensemble together. Grimace is not the fittest nor smartest, probably due to the amount of milkshakes he downs in a year and the fact he (or she) never received a formal education, but the charisma and charm Grimace brings to the table well supersedes any flaws.
I have always thought Hawaiian Punch is an underrated beverage. It is so sweet, never goes flat, and is endorsed by a man who just simply loves to have fun. Nothing captures the Hawaiian spirit more than Punchy, the ever-so hip face of Hawaiian Punch. Yes, Punchy has been an object of controversy. His criminal assault record due to ‘punching other people without cause’ and his iffy stance on Hawaii seceding from the union has developed into very bad PR for him. But there is no question that Punchy is the coolest of the cool out of all soft drink mascots.
8. Morris the Cat
Often duplicated but never repeated, Morris is a lion amongst orange tabbies. He coined the term ‘9 lives’ for cats, his attitude influenced such characters as Heathcliff and Garfield, and there is no doubt Morris is the OGC (original grumpy cat). His fame elevated so high, he even made a run for the White House in ‘88. Although this ill-fated power grab resulted in career suicide for Morris, often blamed as the primary reason Dukakis lost due to stealing much of the women-who-likecats- vote, his legacy will live on well past nine lives.
7. Michelin Man
So what is this guy? Is he a snowman? A marshmallow? Soft-serve vanilla? Nope. It turns out he is a bunch of tires stacked on each other. So why is he white? Well, tired used ot be whiteish in the 1900’s before carbon was added into the mix to make the rubber stronger. Maybe another valid question is how can a man exist built on only pre-carbonized tires? I’m not really sure how the biology of the Michelin Man works, but I guarantee this due has a heart. Because who else would throw tires from his belly to save unexpecting travelers from blown tires and stray nails? No one. No one in the history of the world has ever monitored tire care as much as this man….the man made of tires. Granted, it would be nice if he threw post-carbonized tires, but he just doesn’t have it in his DNA.
6. Crackle (not Snap or Pop)
I have always been a big fan of Rice Krispies, and Crackle has never let me down. However Snap and Pop, that’s another story. Yes, they exist as a trio, but look at Snap and Pop:
Snap is the chef of the operation, but he just had to headline the trio. I find that extremely arrogant. And Pop, well shit. The guy is wearing a damn general’s uniform. What the hell is that all about?
Then you see Crackle and you see humility; an everyday man. He doesn’t need to dress up as a military leader or have his name listed first. All Crackle is about is quality cereal. That is a cause we all can sink our teeth into.
5. Kool-Aid Man
OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! There ain’t no part like a Kool-Aid party because a Kool-Aid party don’t stop! When that guy bursts through your walls with a nice cold pitcher of red Kool-Aid, you damn well know the party has just started. Yes, the Kool-Aid Man does cause literally thousands of dollars worth of home damage in various suburban areas due to his aggressive party style. But it is a small price to pay for the unadulterated joy he brings to every boy, girl, and mother. It is rather curious how the Kool-Aid doesn’t cease to be when he is literally pouring his blood into everyone’s cup to keep the party going. But that is neither here nor there.
I know, I know. Say what you want. She is annoying. She is on every channel all the time. She is even on the radio. You are sick of her. But no one has gotten more from a throw-away commercial part than Flo. This lady sells it every time, be it a funny ad or an annoying ad. When you actually look at it objectively and divorce yourself from the fact it is a pitch for insurance, most of the commercials are sort of funny. And yes, Flo is a big part of it. Whether it is her sitting on a throne built on boxes or whether she is lurking in the shadows enticing potential customers to trust Progressive, Flo gets after it and has now become an American icon. For better or for worse, she is not going away. So get used to it!
Side Note: that animated box for Progressive is pretty funny as well.
3. Poppin’ Fresh: Pillsbury Doughboy
Is there anything cuter than this little guy? Just a simple baker, wearing a cravat and a toque (something no proper chef does without), made of flour, and filled with joy. He takes great pride in helping you bake your cookies, crescents, or whatever wheat-based dessert that will make you fat. Other than the fact that Mr. Fresh is a master around kitchen, he is always up for a good laugh. Press his belly, he giggles. Every time. The man is simply full of merriment. He makes Santa Claus look like a grumpy piece of shit.
Yes we do Poppin’ Fresh. Yes we do.
2. Mr. Peanut
Class, dignity, refinement; all of these things are Mr. Peanut. Yes, the top hat (with his name on it no less), monocle, gloves, cane, and high-end footwear are things that expresses a level of sophistication previously unknown to legume. But he is more than just his attire. He has that confident look, that winning smile, that certain something that says ‘hey, I may be a bit cocky, but that’s ok’. For you see, Mr. Peanut is on our side; a healthy snack option filled with protein and vital nutrients that I am sure are in there somewhere. I know some may say that Mr. Peanut’s act gets tired; always strutting around, thinking he is the cock-of-the-walk. But you know what? Maybe….just maybe…..he earned that right.
1. Spuds MacKenzie
Before Kanye, before the Kardashians, before Paris Hilton, before Lindsey Lohan, even before Bobby Brown, there was Spuds MacKenzie; The original party animal. In the 80’s, Spuds MacKenzie was all over the place; on t-shirts, on posters, even on sandals. There was no doubt that Spuds owned the late 80’s with his ability to unite man, woman, and dog though the art of party. This shameless display of marketing an adult beverage to children did not go unnoticed; many a priggish mother tried to stop Spuds from his pursuit to rock and roll all night and party everyday. But Spud’s charisma and message of ‘party’ was too much for the forces of puritanical thought; there was a party going on America and everyone was invited.
So did this campaign work on children? In a sense, hell yes! Spuds is still remembered fondly since his untimely death due to renal failure in 1993. I mean, he is the original party animal! Oh yeah, Bud Light is the highest selling beer to this day.
But in a sense no, because I never drink Bud Light because it is piss water.
Regardless, Spuds MacKenzie was, and still is, a titan of the business mascot industry. We will miss you.
Side Note: yes I know ‘he’ was a ‘she’.