Bob's Big Boy, the EXXON Tiger, Pac-Man, and the Hamburglar are but a few of the character types that invaded our homes via magazines, TV, and radio. Fast Food establishments developed giveaways for the kids. Advertising mascots were introduced as toys and premiums as a way of motivating children to manipulate mom and dad into buying the products they wanted.
Whatever it was you needed there was an appropriate mascot selling you or your love ones a bill of goodies. The Cambell’s Kids sold you soup out of a can, Count Chocula and Franken Berry would “scare” your kids into eating their cereal for breakfast, and Mr. Clean became your e-z cleaning hero to wash away your dreary household woes. We became gullible “guppies” foolish enough to take the bait that some Madmen far from your home created in an ambiguous ad agency on Madison Avenue.
Our senses were electrified in the 60’s, super-charged in the 70’s, and hyper-driven in the 80’s, so cute cuddly characters that offered us delectable delights or promised us a way of ending our common household drudgeries were the very things we needed as spokesmen for the products we so desperately desired. We were bombarded with the whimsy and magic of a mass-media attack. That powerful force of yesterday molded you and your parents into the brand oriented generation of today.
I highly recommend Mr. Product: The Graphic Art of Advertising’s Magnificent Mascots 1960-1985 / Volume 2 for any graphic designer or artist seeking a blast from the past to create the power-statements of today.