|Photo: Ralph Ginzburg|
|Kicking off the voting for this year’s favorite ad icons and slogans is Jerry Shereshewsky, Yahoo's ambassador plenipotentiary to Madison Avenue, who was accompanied by Tony the Tiger, the Pillsbury Doughboy and a host of other brand symbols come to life in Times Square. Click to see larger photo.
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Helping to emphasize the fact that the event launched the voting for the best advertising slogan and icon were a bevy of scantily clad Las Vegas showgirls, promoting the “What happens here, stays here” tagline, a group handing out foam Energizer Bunny ears and, of course, ad icons ranging from Cap'n Crunch to the California raisins, among others. The public may cast their ballots in a Times Square voting booth or online at advertisingweek.yahoo.com. This year, 26 brand icons and 26 slogans are in the running.
Ken Kaess, Advertising Week 2005 co-chair and president-CEO of DDB Worldwide, said last year’s contest drew 600,000 votes, with M&M’s brand characters, AFLAC Duck, Tony the Tiger, Mr. Peanut and Pillsbury Doughboy taking the top spots.
The event, sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and 30 other professional organizations representing advertising, marketing and media professionals, is in its second year and faced some criticism last year for focusing its attention on past icons instead of the future of advertising.
“Walking around the street with these icons, people feel good,” Mr. Kaess told Advertising Age at the start of 2004’s event. “If that was the only thing we’re doing, then I could take a hit on that. That’s just one component of the week.”
The icons will gather again this September in Times Square, this time led by the Budweiser Clydesdales, in a procession to start Advertising Week.
Winners of the 2005 election will be announced at a ceremony on Madison Avenue Sept. 26, the first day of the event, which will be held Sept. 26-30 in New York. Voting is open online through Sept. 23.