August 11, 2004

Ad icons, ad slogans: vote!

Thanks to Throwing Things for pointing to Advertising Week's vote for all-time best ad icon and best all-time ad slogan. I voted for Mr. Peanut for best icon, because I've been a Mr. Peanut fan for a long time. I feel that Mr. Peanut embodies a poignant eternal human optimism. He's just a peanut, yet he's very high class, and being high class, with charming innocence, has to do with a top hat, spats, and a monocle. I considered voting for Mr. Clean or the Jolly Green Giant, because these two guys are quite impressive. Indeed, one family member, when he was very young, pictured God as the Jolly Green Giant.

For best slogan, well, I can see I don't like slogans anywhere near as much as I like icons. A lot of these slogans just make me mad, not barking mad, but irritated. I mute commercials or skip them, so all the recent ones, I haven't heard. For example, I've never heard "Wassup?!" and clearly that's got to be one that's all in the delivery. I considered voting for "You deserve a break today," because it successfully reconfigured attitudes about going out to eat in a restaurant: it was no longer a luxury, an indulgence, for a special occasion, but something you deserved, not because it was your birthday or your anniversary, but on any day, today, just for getting through the ordinary tasks of the day.

They don't have my all time favorite, which was a mystery to me throughout childhood: "Modess, because" (accompanied by a picture of a woman in a beautiful dress). Another old one that is fun to remember is Dupont's "Better living through chemistry." I like that one because of nostalgia for a time when people didn't think of "chemicals" as bad. Look out, there are chemicals in the food!

Speaking of food, I impulsively voted for "Where's the beef?"

And speaking of "Where's the beef?" what about political slogans? Clearly, these have been censored out of the survey. Too divisive? Too hard to include enough to be fair?

Cigarette advertising is censored out of the survey too, even though it is clearly a huge success (shame?) of the advertising industry. What about Joe Camel? What about the Marlboro man? What about "Come to Marlboro country"? Or "Take a puff, it's springtime!"

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