What do a family of bears, a tuna in a beret, and a cheerful bald gent all have in common? These are just a few famous brand mascots representing cleaning products and nonperishable foods households have stocked up during the coronavirus.

It’s difficult to know when the global pandemic may be over. To that end, we are all taking the proper precautions to practice self-distancing and stay at home. And we take comfort in knowing these brands, and their trustworthy characters, are here to help us weather the crisis together.

Charmin Bears | Charmin

If you can find toilet paper in stock at your local grocery store or retailer, consider yourself lucky! Rolls of Charmin toilet paper are being scooped up quickly, both in their Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong counterparts, during the coronavirus

The Charmin Bears were initially conceived by DMB&B’s London office. The agency had initially developed a menagerie of forest characters for the Charmin brand. Which one turned out to be the star character? A bear, tying in nicely with the timeless “where the bear sh*ts in the forest” joke. However, consumers found a family of bears to be even more endearing and loveable than just one bear. Give ‘em a “Cha-cha-cha-Charmin!” tushy shake jingle accompaniment and eureka! Furry stars are born.

Let’s go back to the concept of the Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong Charmin brands. Ultra Soft bears are blue. They seek out the softer side of life, where the soap is scented, bath towels are fluffy, and TP is nice and cushiony for your bum. Ultra Strong bears are bright red. Their family thrives on staying clean no matter what. They seek out no-nonsense, extra strong toilet paper — perfect for the cubs and parents!

Charlie the Tuna | StarKist

Sorry Charlie? More like thank you Charlie! Tuna fish is one of the most pure-protein non-perishable foods you can stock up on right now. It’s loaded with minerals and B vitamins. Plus, it tastes pretty darn good — especially StarKist tuna fish.

Since 1961, Charlie the Tuna has been the spokes-fish for StarKist. Advertising legend Leo Burnett was at the helm of developing a new ad campaign for StarKist. Research quickly revealed that consumers don’t want tuna that tastes fishy. They like tuna that tastes good.

Not only does StarKist’s tuna tastes good, its fin-tastic character representative is also full of good taste. Clad in a beret and sunglasses, Charlie possesses beatnik cool. He turned 50 in 2011 and celebrated 100 years of StarKist in 2017 as America’s most trusted seafood brand!

Brawny Man | Brawny

Paper towels weren’t far behind when the toilet paper aisles started to clear out during the coronavirus.

Brawny paper towels are instantly recognizable for their burly, strong lumberjack spokesperson on their packaging. In 2017, the lumberjack was briefly retired to make way for a lumberjane in honor of Women’s History Month.

Remember: you can conserve these paper towels with Brawny’s tear-a-square packaging. Listen to the Brawny’s man’s jingle “use a little square, no more” to better conserve paper towels for messes that are big, small, and in between.

Lefty | Hamburger Helper

Craving deluxe beef stroganoff or cheeseburger macaroni for dinner tonight? You’re in luck! Hamburger Helper is here to help fill your stomach to the brim with its one-pot dinners available from Betty Crocker.

Created by Mike Cafferata, this mascot originally went by the name “Helping Hand.” He has since been renamed as Lefty. Creative Joel Friedman, who wrote spots for Hamburger Helper in 10985, describes Lefty as a “goofy little guy with a North Side of Chicago accent.” Lefty often parodied the lyrics to famous, public domain songs in his commercials.

While he provided a helping hand in the kitchen, Lefty enjoys prolific interests outside of his typical kitchen duties. He dabbles in music, dropping a popular mixtape called “Watch the Stove” in 2016 and has candidly spoken about his favorite commercial he filmed (where he rode in a gondola) and his lifelong friendship with the Trix Rabbit.

Duke the Dog | BUSH’S Beans

There are only two individuals that know the secret family recipe for BUSH’S Beans. Jay Bush, great-grandson of BUSH’S Beans founder A.J. Bush, is one of them. A.J. believes that the secret to BUSH’S Beans tastiness is in its cured bacon and blend of spices.

The other is Duke, a loyal golden retriever who acts as the spokespup of the BUSH’S Beans brand. Duke can’t talk, so there’s no way he can spill the hypothetical beans about the recipe… or can he?

“Roll that beautiful bean footage!” Yikes! Maybe Duke knows more than meets the eye! In any case, he’s still man’s best friend — and loves to be part of the BUSH’S family.

Twinkie the Kid | Hostess

What’s the strangest panic buy from the coronavirus outbreak? An onslaught of Twinkies and Ding Dongs from Hostess! Major comfort snacks in the event of long-term quarantine for sure.

In the 1970s, these snacks had an array of brand mascots associated with each of their personalities.

There was Twinkie the Kid, dressed in his finest cowboy apparel, including boots, a ten-gallon hat, and lasso. He often came to the plucky rescue of King Ding Dong’s chocolate kingdom to keep it from melting. King Ding Dong, meanwhile, ruled over his own chocolate kingdom. The most unique part of this kingdom was that only children could see it and not adults.

Mr. Clean

Mr. Clean takes great pride in his ability to get rid of dirt, grime, and grease in just a minute. This makes him one of the top cleaning MVPs during the coronavirus.

It might surprise you to know that Mr. Clean was initially meant to be a genie. In 1957, Procter & Gamble initially instructed commercial artist Richard Black to draw a version of Mr. Clean that erred on the side of being magical. In the initial sketch, Mr. Clean was bald, muscular, and dressed in all white billowing robes with a nose ring.

Black then decided to sketch a second version of Mr. Clean. In this version, Mr. Clean wore a fitted white shirt and pants. His nose ring was moved to an earring.

The look turned out to be a hit with P&G and consumers, who ranked Mr. Clean as America’s top selling household cleaner. This happened a mere six months after his introduction!


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