Classic Advertising Characters Part II
Hello kids, and Happy Thanksgiving Week to all of you. I have another set of classic advertising icons for your perusal. Remember, these are characters that have since been retired, so you won’t see the Brawny lumberjack, Jolly Green Giant or Mr. Clean. I’m trying to focus on characters you really don’t see anymore. Since, by the title of this article, you see Part II at the end, there must have been a Part I, correct? Well, my friend, you would be correct. If you missed it, click here for Part I. Otherwise, continue below for 5 more classic advertising characters.
Cookie Jarvis – Many people may not remember Cookie Jarvis, or maybe you didn’t realize he had a name. But the wizard mascot who adorned boxes of Cookie Crisp in the ’70s – ’80s will always have a place in my nostalgic memories. I remember him so fondly because Cookie Crisp was one of my favorite cereals when I was a kid. It makes me think of early morning breakfasts with my brother and dad before school. Our favorite flavor was the Vanilla Cookie Crisp (see pic on left). Unfortunately this flavor was retired many years ago, along with Mr. Jarvis. He also had some cool commercials where he’d perform magic using his magic wand topped with a chocolate chip cookie. Pretty awesome if you ask me. To see Cookie Jarvis in action…click here.
The Noid – Who doesn’t remember being told to “Avoid the Noid” in the ’80s? He was a very popular character for Domino’s throughout the ’80s. This menacing little imp was the homicidal scourge of pizzas everywhere. He would try to ruin any pizza he came across, yet when he came upon a Domino’s pizza, he’s was thwarted, mostly by his own pizza destroying inventions. Yes, the Noid was Wile E Coyote to Domino’s Pizza’s Road Runner. I enjoyed the little character, however he was getting a little old by the time they phased him out. He had shown up on t-shirts, tv shows, toy shelves and two different video games. As a matter of fact, even today, the Simpsons and Family Guy love to use the image of the Noid in various on screen jokes. Click here to see one of the Noid’s commercials. Did you know, in 1989, a guy named Kenneth Lamar Noid thought the commercials were a direct personal attack on him, so he held several employees hostage in an Atlanta Domino’s Pizza place for over five hours? He eventually surrendered to the police and was ruled insane at his trial (he was crazy? Really?).
Louie the Lightning Bug – This one toes the line of being an advertising character. He was actually the star of several PSAs that were sponsored by local power companies. But you could say he “advertised” safety around electricity (yeah, I’m stretching, I know). Developed by the same people who did School House Rock, Louie was also voiced by the same guy who did a lot of the School House Rock characters, including “I’m Just a Bill”. The songs Louie performed in his commercials were catchy and I really enjoyed it when they came on. The pervailing theme in all of his songs was, “You Gotta Play it Safe Around Electricity”. I still can sing some of the songs. Click here to see my favorite Louie the Lightning Bug commercial.
Burger Kingdom – Did you know in the mid-’70s that Burger King created a group of characters to represent their menu items a la the McDonaldLand characters? Members of the Burger Kingdom included three allies for The King. Sir Shakes-A-Lot was addicted to milkshakes and had body armor made from BK cups. Burger Thing was a huge hamburger in what looked like a 3-D picture frame that loved to sing (Wha-?!). The third friend of The King was the Wizard of Fries who was a robot powered by french fries who can “multi-fry”, or clone french fries into more fries. Other than these three friends, Burger King had one arch nemesis named Duke of Doubt. He was a non-believer in the magic of the Burger King. Strange and unusual, and not as well developed as the McDonaldLand characters, they were not-surprisingly phased out by the mid-’80s. Click here to see a commercial with Sir Shakes-A-Lot.
Toothpaste Kid and the Cavity Creeps – It’s hard to believe that this came out in the mid-’70s. Crest’s superhero kids battling rock-like villains was wildly popular. Check out this uber-cool commercial here. The Marvel-esque style of the animation and the Hulk-like Cavity Creeps make for a very compelling commercial. Not surprisingly, the visuals were developed by a former Marvel Comics artist. Also not surprisingly, this campaign included a comic book. It was so popular it continued to air into the ’80s. Most of us remember mainly the Cavity Creeps yelling “WE PUT HOLES IN TEETH!” and then the Toothpaste Kid and crew would hose them down with a blue glowing substance we have to assume is toothpaste and not anti-freeze. And how about that fortress in the shape of teeth? So awesome. Very well developed commercial that still resonates with people who were kids when it aired.
So, there’s Group 2. What do you guys think? Well, I thought of at least a few more of these guys, so a Group 3 is in the works as I write this.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.