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John W. DeFeo wrote this humorous article for Debonair magazine. It highlights the top 10 Best Dressed Advertising Icons of all time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and bet you will too. But I did put in my personal choice for #1 at the end of this article. Read on.
Sometimes advertising takes on a life of it's own. The Kool Aid Man, The California Raisins, The Energizer Rabbit – all have become indispensable parts of American pop culture. But lovable as many brand mascots are, most don't know a thing about fashion (we're looking at you Spuds McKenzie).
We at Debonair decided to assemble a Best Dressed list that honors the most stylish offspring of Madison Avenue.
Presenting the Top 10 Best Dressed Advertising Icons (plus my own pick):
#10. Count Chocula
Count Vladimir Elysius von Chocula is unquestionably the sharpest dresser among his Monster Cereal brethren – Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Yummy Mummy. Unveiled to public in the early seventies by General Mills, CC always keeps things simple with a brown suit and cape. Even more impressive, the Count has even found away to adapt his look into swimwear.
#9. Mr. Clean
(aka Maestro Limpio) is the original badass of adland. Born in Chicago, and sporting an earring since 1957 – this guy is all about attitude. With a perfect body and golden tan, he needs nothing more than a plain white tee to seduce lonely housewives the world over.
#8. The Jolly Green Giant
Green living is all the rage these days, and the Jolly Green Giant has been practicing adaptive reuse for the last 60 years. His signature leafy toga is the essence of conservation. And if you have a problem with his style, he might decide to crush your town and eat your family.
#7. Mickey Mouse
Meet the world's first unassuming billionaire. With a market value of $61 Billion, this modest mouse doesn't even bother to throw on a suit – instead opting for slacks and a sport coat. Yet notice the carefully matched bow tie and button. Classic.
#6. Mr. Peanut
In advertising, you don`t change what works. And so, Mr. Peanut has sported the same threads for the last century. In 2006, Kraft Foods gave the public an opportunity to accessorize Mr. P. The public said no thanks, proving that a top hat, cane, and monocle remain the best way to compliment great nuts.
#5. The 'Burger' King
The King is all boutz da bling. Fur-lined robe, gold chains, crown – The King is street regal. In fact, all that gold may lead to the silver screen. Rumors are still circulating of a BK movie deal.
#4. Cap'n Crunch
Any man that wears coattails and epaulets to breakfast must love fashion. You might think of the Cap'n as uptight and militaristic, but make no mistake, the guy is a Phreak. In 1971, the Cap`n distributed phone-hijacking whistles to the general public. Take that establishment!
#3. Quaker Oats Man
Don't let the friendly hat and white scarf fool you, this Quaker is no puritan. Sadistic, yet fashionable - he fed radioactive oatmeal to over 100 young boys in the 40s and 50s. But he was always so quiet…
#2. Joe Camel
Joe was forced into early retirement in 1997, but his smooth legacy lives on. Whether dressed in a tuxedo or Member`s Only jacket, JC always looked the part. Happy retirement Joe!
#1. (A Tie!) Monopoly Man and Pinaud Clubman
This is a case of “who wore it best”. The Monopoly Man has the benefit of appearing in full color, but stands at 3'4”. The Pinaud Clubman, though perfectly proportioned, is a bit monochromatic. And worse yet, French.
Now, how any of the above could beat out the mysteriously sight-challenged "Man In the Hathaway Shirt" for the best dressed ad icon, I have no idea.
My Personal Choice for #1: The Man In The Hathaway Shirt
For those of you who don't know, Ogilvy & Mather's famous artistocratic, mustachioed eye-patched gentleman, Russian Baron George Wrangell, served as the pitchman for Maine's Hathway shirts, in both print and television ads beginning in 1951 and made Hathaway one of David Ogilvy's most famous ad campaigns of all time. Despite his being human, he is considered a classic ad icon. And an impeccably attired one at that.