Sadly, you just don't see as many product mascots as there were back in the golden olden days of my youth. Or at least that's my perception, although I will allow that because I watch much less kid-oriented television than I did as, well, a kid, I'm no longer the target audience for those type of ads. But still: Where have all the mascots gone? Below, a few of my all-time faves.
1. Milton the Toaster
2. Fruit Pie the Magician
4. Chicken of the Sea Mermaid
mermaid obsession. No Starkist or Bumblebee for us -- I was loyal to CotS.
Ask any mermaid
You happen to see
What's the best tuna?
Chicken of the Sea
Short, gray-haired old man with hooked nose who steals and hoards Filet-o-Fish sandwiches. Vocabulary consists solely of incomprehensible and muttered "robble, robble, robble." You make the call.
Going to McDonalds was a real treat when I was a kid, something you looked forward to and didn't do very often (once a month at the very most). It was a big deal, and I relished every trip. I've never been a fan of the current (and totally played out) "I'm Lovin' It" McDonalds campaign, but oh, how I adored the jingles of yesteryear, from "You Deserve a Break Today" to "Shamrock Shakes, They're a Beautiful Green." I'm old, people -- I remember when they first introduced Chicken McNuggets, an event that totally rocked my childhood world.
For God's sake, I even owned an official McDonaldland playset, complete with action figures and a wind-up train. It was boss. And I had the Playskool McDonalds, too, which was also unbelievably cool. It had little trays of food and the employees all wore those awesome hats. Where have all the fast-food employee hats gone? Hot Dog on a Stick is one of the only holdouts.
The Playskool McDonalds. See the pointy little hats?
I'd like to see how modern parents (all around my age, incidentally) would utterly freak out if a fast-food chain came out with retail toys for kids today that were sold in stores. Can you imagine?
Do I love any of the advertising mascots of today? Hard to say, as I don't watch much in the way of kids' TV programming (except for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, which totally rock). There doesn't seem to be as many spokes-critters as in yesteryear, though. And instead of selling fries, last time I saw Ronald McDonald he was preaching about healthy lifestyles and the importance of exercise. I understand that McDonalds has agreed to stop targeting children under 12 altogether, and the rest of the McDonaldland posse appears to have vanished entirely. I'll miss those guys. It's years later, and they didn't turn me into an obese adult fast-food junkie. I'm just sayin'.