As part of our countdown to Advertising Week 2016 in New York City and this year’s Madison Avenue Walk of Fame, we’re profiling the winners from the past 12 years; here are the winners from 2009.

Running Man

Brand Represented: AOL
Year Introduced: 1997

Few mascots have campaigned as hard for the Walk of Fame quite like the AOL Running Man in 2009. Basing his campaign on the tagline “Run, Don’t Walk!” he urged consumers to exercise their right to vote for the icon that makes it his mission to inform, entertain, and connect the world.


Part of the Buddy List feature for AIM from AOL that allowed users to instantly know when friends were online, the Running Man was featured everywhere on AOL packaging in the late 1990s to early 2007s.  JoRoan Lazaro, the Running Man’s designer, was inspired by silhouette images of men used in 1940s and 1950s postwar American logos and trademarks. Lazaro simplified the design for the Running Man, who organically evolved with the brand. Sadly, much like AIM and the Buddy List, the Running Man is no more in 2016, after years of quiet phasing out before being discontinued in 2011. But real late ‘90s Internet dial-up users will always remember his cheerful, sunny self.

Budweiser Clydesdales

Brand Represented: Budweiser/Anheuser-Busch
Year Introduced: 1933

Long before Super Bowl commercial spots, the Clydesdales were defining Anheuser-Busch as its silent, majestic icons. In 1933, August Busch Jr. and his brother Adolphus gifted their father with a six-horse hitch of Clydesdales that simultaneously moved the entire family to tears and created the phrase, “Crying into your beer.” Their first move after the tears ran their course? The Clydesdales started a tour around the United States, beginning with the White House where they delivered the first post-Prohibition case of Budweiser.

Housed in a brick and stained glass stable in Saint Louis with 175 Clydesdales currently in its herd, the Clydesdales trotted into ad icon fame after being inducted into the 2009 Walk of Fame. Then and now, some of their greatest accomplishments have included appearances in more than 25 Super Bowl commercials (making their debut in 1986), participation in two presidential inaugurations and the Tournament of Roses parades, and meet and greets with thousands of fans.


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