BUILDING BRANDS WITH ELVES, TIGERS AND A LOUD-MOUTHED TUNA

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A report on the history and legacy of the Burnett agency would not be complete without the "critters." No other agency has been as creative and as adept in developing anthropomorphic product symbols-symbols that have had a remarkable longevity.

Think of an advertising creature and the chances are it was created by Burnett: The Jolly Green Giant; Poppin' Fresh; Tony the Tiger; Snap, Crackle & Pop; Charlie the Tuna; Morris the Cat; the Keebler Elves; and so on.

In Advertising Age's special issue earlier this year commemorating 50 years of TV advertising, longtime Burnett creative Robert Noel talked about the agency's prediliction to critters. "We weren't just indulging ourselves turning out light-headed cartoon stuff; we were building our clients' brands," wrote Mr. Noel, who joined Burnett in 1956 and retired in 1980 as exec VP-creative services.

And even today, decades after these icons were created, most of them continue to toil for their brands on the TV screen and in print.

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