It’s summer and the living is easy, even for our favorite brand mascots!
From sunscreen to 27-foot long hot dog cars, we rounded up seven beloved icons that are pure summertime fun for all ages.
1. Kool-Aid Man
“Oh yeah!” For Rob Volpe, Founder and Chief Catalyst at Ignite 360, this enthusiastic pitcher of drink mix define childhood summers, “The Kool-Aid Man was synonymous with summer growing up in small town Indiana. What kid couldn’t relate to being hot and tired and the sweet relief in a tall glass of ice cold Kool-Aid? Now he co-stars with Flo in spots for Progressive. It may not be [the same] summertime relief, but I can’t help smiling.”
Introduced in the 1950s, the Kool-Aid Man hung out on tabletops singing a jingle about how a five-cent pouch of Kool-Aid created “the very best drink you ever made!” As times changed, he was given arms and legs with a penchant for merrily bursting through the walls of homes to help families make the cold drink. The Kool-Aid Man today is still out and about, but is less inclined to barge into a home as he is to share some of his #ohyeah selfies via social media.
2. Coppertone Girl
Beach bound for sunnin’ and funnin’? Don’t forget your sunscreen – but have you ever wondered who inspired the little pigtailed girl with her cheeky furry companion on the Coppertone label? In 1956, illustrator Joyce Ballantyne used her daughter Cheri as the inspiration behind her drawing for the Coppertone Girl we all know and love today.
3. ICEE Bear
Target, movie theaters, gas stations… Just try to think of a place that doesn’t carry this refreshing beverage! Nothing says cool for the summer better than the ICEE Bear, who has been supplying us with America’s favorite frozen beverage since 1967. He was even inducted into our very own Madison Avenue Walk of Fame in 2015!
4. The California Raisins
In 1984, the California Raisin Industry introduced the California Dancing Raisin campaign with the mission to spread awareness and demand for California raisins. With the help of a little Claymation and Marvin Gaye’s hit “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” a quartet of singing raisins serenaded their way into our hearts and the pop culture landscape from the 1980s through today.
5. Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
“Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener. That is what I truly want to be…” For Holly Pavlika, SVP of Content and Marketing at Collective Bias, nothing is more synonymous with summertime than hot dogs. “A hot dog car appeals to all ages, especially since everyone grew up eating Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Whether or not you still do, it plays on your nostalgia.”
While the Wienermobile may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a traditional brand mascot, there’s something about spotting this car while out and about that can put a smile on anyone’s face. Created by Oscar’s nephew Carl Mayer, the Wienermobile has been hitting the road in America since 1936 with no plans of stopping anytime soon. Currently, there are six of these 27-foot hot dog cars roaming the United States. Time for a road trip to find all of ‘em? We think so!
6. Mr. Six
If you grew up anywhere within the vicinity of a Six Flags theme park, you probably know all about its unique spokesperson Mr. Six. Making his first appearance in a 2004 commercial created by Doner Advertising, Mr. Six arrives on a bus to rescue a suburb that has forgotten how to do anything but work.
As he steps off the bus, he wears a suit and bowtie. He is hobbled over and moves slowly. Suddenly, speakers rise up from the bus suddenly blasting the Vengaboys “We Like to Party” as Mr. Six busts a lively move to the beat. His actions inspire the whole neighborhood to abandon their work for a day out at Six Flags and the commercial spot ends by saying that “In the end, no one ever says ‘I wish I worked around the house more.’” The campaign was a huge success for Six Flags and Mr. Six (portrayed by actor Danny Teeson who it should be noted is much younger than Mr. Six in real life) is still instantly recognizable with consumers over a decade later.
7. The Summer Olympic Mascots
Nothing brings the world together quite like watching the Olympic Games. While this year’s Rio 2016 Olympics promises plenty of athletic talent to root for, metals to be awarded, and an outrageous opening ceremony, we’re looking forward to seeing Vinicius and Tom, Rio’s Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Few mascots can ever say they were “born” for this moment like these two, as Vinicius and Tom were created from the explosion of happiness that came from the announcement that Rio de Janeiro would be the first South American city to host the games.
Who’s your favorite summertime mascot? Tell my on Twitter @howveryheather!