Advertising characters are an easy, fast way to accelerate notoriety, give life to a brand and create an emotional connection with consumers.
For instance, Mr. Clean was created to seduce the 1960’s housewife that was home alone all day. The Green Giant was invented to convince kids that they would grow if they ate their greens.
One of my favorite French TV shows “Culture Pub“, which features a weekly summary of the latest ads from around the world, conducted an unofficial Facebook poll to determine which advertising character is favorite among French viewers:
Third place- The Michelin Man. Invented over one hundred years ago, in 1898! Was recently awarded the Icon of the Year prize by Ad Week magazine.
Second place- yellow and red M&M’s just as popular as the celebrities they share the screen with.
First place- Orangina Rouge invented in 1996 (two years after the original Orangina character) most famous for the tag-line “Mais pourquoi est-il si mechant” (“but why is he so mean”), to which the Orangina Rouge character yells “Parce-Queeee” (“Just becaaaaaaause”.)
As a kid, I always thought that Ronald McDonald was creepy, but I loved the California Raisins. More recently, I really liked the old man from Six Flags, and the Geiko Cave Man (up until they gave him his own sitcom.)
What’s your favorite, or most memorable, advertising character?