USA Today and Advertising Age are sponsoring this year’s Advertising week Walk of Fame. In the inaugural year of 2004, five icons five slogans were selected; in subsequent years, it’s been two and two. Last year’s icons were the Geico Caveman – disappointing to me, given the more established choices available – and the Serta (mattress) Sheep. the slogans were “We deliver for you” (US Postal Service) and, in an interesting pairing, UPS’ “What can brown do for you?”
Here are this year’s icon nominees (with year first used, if noted):
AOL Running Man (2003) – seems unlikely; a now-marginal player
Big Boy (restaurants) (1936) – now that’s an icon, though I always thought of it as a regional chain
Budweiser Clydesdales – I only see them in Super Bowl ads; doesn’t quite seem right
Burger King (2004) – not only do I find that plastic “the King” character creepy, it makes me LESS likely to buy the product. Whereas the nominated slogan, “Have it your way”, is quite appealing.
California Raisins (1986) – seems like a short-lived fad
Captain Morgan (rum) (1944) – I’d consider this one
Crash Test Dummies (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) (1985) – would have thought Vince and Larry had been around longer
Doublemint Twins (Wrigley gum)(1939) – seems more like a concept than actual icon with a specific look
Fruit of the Loom Guys (underwear) (1975) – maybe some day
Jolly Green Giant (1928) – actually was my second choice; after all, he is, you know, GREEN
Keebler Elves (1968) – another one that needs to wait its turn
Little Debbie (snack cakes) (1960) – someday
Maytag Repaiirman (1967) – I think I have a bias against humans as icons
McGruff the Crime Dog (1979). AND the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Take a bite out of crime” is up for best slogan; I think I’d be more inclined to vote for the slogan. Maybe someday.
Michelin Man (1898) – should win on seniority alone
Mr. Clean (1958) – iconic; my third choice.
Mr. Mucus (Mucinex) (2005) – WAY too new, and I didn’t even know 1) that he had a name or 2) the name of the product, though I’ve seen the commercial dozens of times
MSN Butterfly (2002) – I happen to think it’s boring and unmemorable
Roaming Gnome (Travelocity) (2004) – too new, and mildly irritating
Ronald McDonald (some restaurant chain) (1963) – if I were to pick a human, this is who I’d pick. Wouldn’t pick the slogan “I’m lovin’ it,” though; never liked it.
Smokey Bear (U.S. Forest Service) (1944) – another Top 5 choice; too bad I can only vote once. And the slogan, “Only you can prevent forest fires”, is also top five.
Subway Jared (sandwiches) – if picking a human like the Maytag guy was problematic for me, picking an actual person like Jared just won’t fly with me. But the slogan, “Eat fresh”, I’d consider.
Test Man (Verizon Wireless) (2002) – “Can you hear me now?” Yes, practically in my sleep. Too new, too human.
Toucan Sam (Froot Loops cereal) (1963) – I actually have a stuffed Toucan Sam. But there are characters more identified with their specific product.
Vlasic Stork (pickles) (1974) – they really used the real Groucho Marx in the early commercials! I did not know that. Top 10 choice.
But my pick is:
Snap, Crackle, Pop (Rice Krispies Cereal) (1941) – not only are these readily identifiable with their brand, they come with a nifty song (LOVE that counterpoint) with interesting lyrics.
Besides, I’m a cereal eater and I consumed a lot of Rice Krispies over the years, although almost none since I discovered that it is pretty much nutritionally void.
I’m not going to go through all the slogans, but I will give you my top three:
3. “Priceless” – MasterCard and 2. “Got milk?” – California Milk Processor Board; both of these have been so widely parodied as to become almost generic. But I’m picking the newspaper I’ve often read, “All the news that’s fit to print” from the maybe-not-as-venerable-as-it-used-to-be New York Times, a motto that’s also been spoofed (“All the news that fits,” e.g.).
I do feel slightly guilty, though. As a business librarian, I probably should have voted for “I Love New York”, if only to keep the award from going to “Virginia is for lovers” or Las Vegas’ “What happens here, stays here”. Here’s one downstate ad, plus a whole slew of commercials linked here.
Also at the site: the WOF game
Voting ends at 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, September 18. Only one vote per computer.
And speaking of voting:
Corey Ellis, a local coordinator for Barack Obama last year, is running for mayor of Albany, among many races here and across the state; the primary in New York State is today from noon to 9 pm upstate and from 6 am to 9 pm in New York City. Here’s a Metroland story about Corey Ellis. Also, the Times Union endorsement of Jerry Jennings while noting that Mr. Ellis is right on many of the issues; most curious.
And speaking of curious:
Kayne West. Oy!
I’m sorry that Patrick Swayze died – somehow I ended up seeing this Barbara Walters special, with him and his wife talking about fighting his cancer – but actually I’ve managed to miss every movie that he made, even the ones I had planned to see such as To Woo Fong and Dirty Dancing. Well, except Ghost, which is feeling just a bit too on the nose right now.