|M&M characters triumphed at the polls as America's favorite icons.
The results of the contest, sponsored by USA Today and Yahoo!, are part of the kickoff to the inaugural Advertising Week in New York. More than 500,000 votes were cast throughout the six weeks of polling.
Top five get plaques
The M&M characters garnered 22% of the vote. The brand of multicolored candies was followed by the Aflac Duck, Mr. Peanut, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger. The five ad icons, which topped a field of 26, will each have its own plaque in a newly established "Walk of Fame" on Madison Avenue, the onetime center of the advertising world.
The icons "are enduring symbols of everything that advertising does for society," said Ron Berger, chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies' board of directors.
The famous M&M tagline -- "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands" -- was named the favorite slogan in the poll. It beat out a field that included Verizon Wireless's "Can you hear me now?" and Wendy's "Where's the beef?"
The unveiling of the winners capped a surreal procession of ad icons that, over the years, have flooded the airwaves and become a mainstay of consumer culture. A motorcade carrying characters like Ronald McDonald and the Energizer Bunny made its way from Times Square to the headquarters of Omnicom Group ad agency DDB Worldwide on Madison Avenue and 50th Street, where the top finishers were announced to a gathering of industry executives, DDB employees, media and a smattering of passersby.
Advertising Week in NY
The icon voting is the most public portion of Advertising Week, an initiative organized by the American Association of Advertising Agencies to gain greater recognition for the industry and its accomplishments. The week's slate of panels, social events and conferences lasts throughout the week.