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More Mascots in Advertising

Paul Francis

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Recently, I wrote an article that talked about some forgotten mascots, as well as a very bizarre one (depending on which country you’re from). That article can be found here.


Today, I want to highlight some characters you might remember, which were created by one company only to be remembered for another, as well as some that were once dropped, but which were revived almost instantly.


Flash in the pan


Flat Eric

flat eric

flat eric

Originally a puppet created by Quentin Dupieux (Mr. Oizo), called Stephane, Flat Eric was redesigned by Janet Knechtel while she worked for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. It was most famous for a small series of adverts for Levi Jeans in 1999. The puppet is still used by the original creator, Mr. Oizo.


Bouncing between brands


Monkey


Sometimes called the PG Tips’ Monkey, this slightly cowardly little scamp appeared originally with ‘Al’ (played by Johnny Vegas), on the now-defunct ITV Digital. Because Monkey was owned by advertising agency Mother, and not ITV Digital, it was allowed to appear in other programmes and media and played a part in 2001’s Comic Relief and 2002’s BRIT awards. It wasn’t until 2007 that Monkey appeared in adverts for PG Tips and was rebranded as ‘The PG Tips’ Monkey’.

Lose us, lose profit


Tetley Tea Folk


The Tetley Tea folk were originally created by Canadian copywriter John McGill Lewis, with help from Peter Rigby and Wyatt Cattaneo Studios, back in 1973. Tetley’s fictional tea team grew substantially over the years, with several characters being added over time. Tetley put the Tea Folk on lots of their products and associated merchandise, with some becoming highly collectable items, selling for as much as £200 on second-hand markets.


They coined three catchphrases during their run, with ‘That’s Better, That’s Tetley’ being one of the most famous.


They were retired by Tetley in 2001 as the brand concentrated on a younger market with a more modern advertising campaign. By July 2002, however, the company’s sales had slumped by 14%, which they stated was down to the axing of the Tetley Tea Folk. As a result, they made a comeback in 2010 and have appeared on and off TV for the brand ever since.


Mascots can make a brand come alive; however, as shown above, they can sometimes become bigger than the brand they’re representing.

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