Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kitschy Corporate Mascots - Before and After

BEFORE
Mike Fontanelli sent me these images from ebay as further proof that everything went to Hell after the hippie revolution. Even bad taste.
Corporate logos are cheesy looking by tradition. But they used to be funny cheesy.


Even poor taste was good at one time.




AFTER
I love the Best Buy package of lumps. A real collectible.
Someone said I need to get more up to date and reference stuff like this in my cartoons, and add a hip hop track. Then I'd be cool.

30 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

You forgot your favorites:

This guy, and this girl.

Kerssido said...

I wish I could find a picture of the old Reid's Dairy mascot. It was this very creepy cow with huge teeth.

Trevor Thompson said...

I love hip hop.

And yet, nothing would ruin your cartoons faster ( unless they also had 'tude and made at least one modern pop culture reference per minute ).

BTW, have you seen Superjail yet? Once you get passed the sometimes simple art style and at times excessive violence, it's actually quite cartoony and very funny.

- trevor.

pappy d said...

Focus groups have proven that everyone likes money....& with the amusing googly eyes! I just wanted to hit someone over the head & steal it!

I actually liked the first 6-Flags mascot. He probably asked for more money & they got a new guy who can't dance & seems genuinely old. That's what you get for tying your corporate ID to a live-action character.

When I was a kid, you saw the MacGregor Happy Foot in every shoe store & haberdashery. He looks fiendish as if he just left his boot up an Englishman's arse.

Thrift was a popular motif in those days because Americans still looked forward to a dazzling future (I was saving up for a flying car). We didn't realise that thrift is unpatriotic.

If we don't keep borrowing & shopping, the terrorists win.

ther1 said...

C'mon, cut it out with Superjail already. The show's not funny unless you're angry or high, and I've never been high.

Puyuh (Leong Wan Kok) is very talented. A lot of his characters look like they can be rotated 360 degress, and with good reason-he makes them into toys. They're sadly kind of "urban vinyl," though.

Some of them look like Ren or Stimpy, but he's not even trying to rip John K off. It's just how he draws.

Rudy Tenebre said...

Have you ever read Otto Spengler's Decline of the West? You remind me of a Spenglarian for consumer culture. A raving, half-crazed Golden Age partisan screaming from the wings of an industry in decline since his birth, where every new decade brings about new bastards. Which is why I love your Ranger Smith cartoons and the old Mighty Mouse stuff, as they are works of animation scholarship, and great humor. Is it not a strange irony that your most marginal characters (Ren and Stimpy) would become your biggest contribution to animation history? Yet those characters you've long anticipated producing be your most forgettable (The Ripping Friends).
That said, I wish you much success, 'cause you're the last practicing, unique link to that great age of cartoon pictures past. Damn the auto-industry for folding, and screw the cartoon intelligencia.

Thomas said...

Is the raid bug from the 70's?

A sad story- I was meeting some friends visiting from out of town on a streetcorner in Chinatown in NY. It was a sweltering summer day. A Subway sandwich shop had newly opened and mascot was there on the corner; someone in a foam hero sandwich costume with cartoon eyes. It must have been 100 degrees in that costume. When my friends arrived, and saw me standing next to giant sandwich, they thought it was funny, and took a photograph.
Six months later, and my friends are visiting again, and we agree to meet at the same spot. It is the middle of winter, and the streets were piled high with grey dirty New york snow. There, on that same corner is the Subway mascot. The costume is filthier than the dirty ice and snow. Its foam bun has been ducktaped together, it has only bits of foam sandwich meat and lettuce left. It is missing an eyeball, the other one, hanging by a thread. We just hoped that it wasn't the same person inside the suit.

I'm just relating this anecdote because I think it personifies the utter misery that contemporary mascots convey.

Rick Roberts said...

The googly eyed money is funny but hasn't been played for humor effectively yet. The obnoxious techno remix of "somebody's watching me" dosen't help.

DuckTwacyisDeducting said...

I don't know Jon. Maybe your cartoons could use a little more hip and a little more hop.

At least it made this otherwise boring public domain cartoon watchable for me:
It's a Pup Dog

Operation GutterBall said...

The Raid bug rules!

Brian Goss said...

It helps when Tex Avery is directing your ads as well, like he did for Raid.

I wish you had posted the Frito Bandito, one of the greatest corporate mascots ever...and another Tex Avery creation.

Joseff!!1 said...

Dammit I hate the new Geico Campaign with "Money Eyes" stupid and not funny at all, anyways the raid one looks good.

Hans Flagon said...

I wonder what that particular Raid bug does. I've got a Raid Bug phone on my Blog that looks like its big brother.

Bob Givens designed those Raid bugs, right? I always got the feeling it might have been Jack Davis that may have had something to do with those ads, at least the bugs (not Raid the bug spray can.

I have an Old Crow advertising mascot from probably 30-50 years earlier than that 80s Raid Bug, which is naturally cooler. The weird bit is you discover that much of that stuff, like the faces of certain dolls before plastic really took off, was made of paper mache. Which falls apart if it ever gets wet.

I.D.R.C. said...

I can't figure out why you believe hippies are to blame for this. I can't figure out why you think hippies are to blame for anything. It's one of the few places where your usually solid reasoning goes inexplicably south. You often say it but you never really say why it is so.

I have lived in this world in the same time as you, and your conclusions do not mirror what I lived through.

Hippies were not running Filmation.
They didn't run Hanna Barbera into the ground. They did not kill music. They did not kill art. They did not kill wisdom. Why do you blame hippies instead of the people who had all the money and all the control?

Was it hippies who gave Clampett such a hard time with his Beany and Cecil cartoons? Was it hippies who gave you a hard time with Ren and Stimpy? I'm trying to understand this hippie castigation but it seems silly to me.

I can't see how people who like patchouli oil, hummous, the Grateful Dead and space-dolphin airbrushings have much to do with anything you value. Why isn't the conservatism you have been talking about the main culprit here? Are you saying hippies are conservative? Some of them may be guilty of bad artistic taste, some of them may be guilty of dropping out, but what did they do that ruined the country? If there had never been hippies, this country would be even more repressed and conservative than it is now. Hippies, as annoying as they may be in some respects, were a net gain for this society.

Emily said...

i agree with Trevor Thompson! let us all know what you think of super jail! i for one love it. if anything it's a step in the right direction.

Trevor Thompson said...

Didn't Tex Avery create the Raid Roach or did he just direct the commercials?

- trevor.

Peter Saunders said...

The current Burger King mascot is very creepy but in a retro way ...

Taber said...

That Six Flags guy laying in his sad little coffin really drives the point home.

Shawn Dickinson said...

Before the "hippie revolution", nobody could beat Kellogg's.

JohnK said...

>>Was it hippies who gave you a hard time with Ren and Stimpy? <<

Oh yeah, absolutely.

mike f. said...

[Is the raid bug from the 70's?]

I actually have this toy, but I can't find a copyright date on it. It may have been produced in the early seventies, but it's based on a series of TV commercials that definitely started in the sixties. They were directed by the great Tex Avery - at least the early ones were - and advertised RAID.

[I can't figure out why you believe hippies are to blame for this. I can't figure out why you think hippies are to blame for anything.]

Yesterday's hippies are today's corporate sellouts. Except - unlike all previous generations' soulless executives - with delusions of creativity and pretentious self-importance.

[They did not kill music. They did not kill art. They did not kill wisdom.]

Yes, they did. They killed all of these things. Every single item you mention is in a state of creative and artistic decline today that can be traced back to its inception in 1968, when the baby-boomers officially came of age. The counterculture declared war on fashion, design, creativity, craftsmanship and taste. The residue of their "revolution" has left the world in tatters, artistically speaking.

In addition, they were hypocrites - they did not practice all they preached.

For instance: were they environmental heroes? They've left the world in a state of environmental disaster, with more species, natural habitats and whole ecosystems on the verge of extinction than ever before.

Their record on free expression is also spotty: it had damn well better follow the prevailing attitude, or else.

You can now be fired for making a joke, or expressing an unpopular opinion - whether on or off the worksite. The pre-Hippie mantra: "I may not agree with what you have to say, but will defend your right to say it" - has been replaced with: "You'd damn well better toe the line politically or you won't work in this town." Their casual tolerance of censorship (although they're too media savvy to call it that) is particularly appalling.

[I have lived in this world in the same time as you, and your conclusions do not mirror what I lived through.]

That's because John is a thinker and you're not. You're a parrot. You parrot the self-praises of the most absurdly romanticized period in American history.

I.D.R.C. said...

Oh yeah, absolutely.Well, you were there, and presumably would know, but it seems to me that you may be stretching the definition of hippie to make such a statement.

I think it was repressed housewives. They may have looked like hippies, and that may have been their outward pose, but I just don't think that is the part of their psychological makeup that stuck it to you. The hippie part, if they had really believed in it, would have probably provided them with better instincts.

I think we have a country where the channels of information have become so controlled by such a few people who don't really deserve that control, who delegate responsibility to people who don't really deserve that responsibility, and the end result of such a system is bound to be tragic, not matter who it is that is left making bad decisions for bad reasons.

I think it is assholism that has ruined our country, and you can be an asshole (or not), no matter what uniform you put on.

Anyway, now you know what I think. I still love you like family.

Darkhawk said...

what I want to know is, why is Geico trying axe their Gecko? and replace it with that lame pile of money with the eyeballs? Cheapness? Because the little 3D gecko costs money to animate? Ugh! It's so infuriating, I don't like that pile of money with the google eyes, I love the cute gecko, always have. Corprate leaders are Marketing idiots, like the evil Disney Corporation - they are never to be trusted.

Those old time mascots or better, the ones before 1967. I like the alligator the best. It has expression and defiantly can sell, alligator skin wear. even the sock represents - happy socks. I was just explaining on my DA page to other artists about the importance of expression and attitude in drawings and cartoon type work. I see so many "uber" illustrations with no vibrance, they are pretty to look at, but no life. Thanks John for your teachings!

Rudy Tenebre said...

Maybe a university press will be interested in publishing the Spumco book, being that it's author has a gift for social theory.

Rick Roberts said...

"but it seems to me that you may be stretching the definition of hippie to make such a statement."

No Mike is right on. Hippies are infact facists. They use the concept of "free love and expression" to include all races in classes but only if they have no real individuality, they want sheep. They don't want you to have an original idea at all. They are just as bad as Mccarthyist except not everyone is white. Sure they don't wear tie dye t-shirts but now they just wear neck ties and they are in schools, political offices, and running animation studios.

david gemmill said...

well Mike, while you are busy blaming hippies and yuppies for your problems, other people will be moving beyond the scapegoating and taking advantage of the technology that allows one to make/create new stuff that is totally independent and free from any corporate restraints. And also with a whole new vein of distribution for the said content (the INTERWEB!!)

You seem to complain about a lot of things, rightfully so, a lot of stuff is pretty f*cking sh*tty right now, but where is your cartoon? instead of trying to right the "wrong" you just get really pissed off and then go back to reveling in your nostalgic tastes and buying stuff off ebay. No shame in that* but complaining doesn't really improve anything.

*and there is also no shame in people today enjoy vintage video games or campy lame 80's cartoon because it's just what they grew up with. And some stuff in the 50's and 60's was equally kitschy and packaged as 80's and 90's stuff.

John wants studios to fund his shorts program because that is where the money is, but i'm sure he has plenty of money of his own that he could use to just sit down and animate his own shorts...after all he does have time to write all these extremely helpful informative dissertations on cartoons and animation with tutorials, assessments, critiques, etc. Everyone is grateful albeit they can be sometimes too attached to his dogma, but I'd much rather see a short that he animated by himself. I'd rather see you do a comic about how hippies ruined things than just whine whine whine.

pappy d said...

I don't want to engage you on this conspiracy theory since you'll be led to the inescapable conclusion that I'm somehow involved.

It is a fact that it's business alone who censors kids' entertainment. All censorship in this country is self-censorship in response to the market for goods & services. This is between the studios & Mom.

Their point in doing this is to demonstrate that whatever government can do for the citizen, business can do better for the consumer. As an adult consumer of cartoons you are part of a demographic composed 99.9% of children. Bad luck, but that's how free markets operate. Your mother approves of you watching them. Pay me & I'll make cartoons you like.


Would you invest your own money in a studio whose purpose was just to make good cartoons? I submit that you'd probably look for something that's going to make a profit.

In 1950, the US GDP was equal to more than half of global GDP. Life was sweet. You could raise a family on one income. If you needed more money, you just got a better job. People with a high school education could buy a house. It was a good run, but Europe & Asia couldn't stay bombed-out forever. US wages levelled out around 1967.

If we're ever in a situation where we are the last major industrial power who isn't bombed into the stone age, maybe things could be like that for America again but today, manufacturing is a 3rd world enterprise, even cartoons.

glamaFez said...

Here's a real hippie cartoon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcRBEqq-tGY

mike f. said...

[well Mike, while you are busy blaming hippies and yuppies for your problems...]

Wow! Right off the bat, your very first premise is false. Nice work!

Nowhere did I suggest I was blaming hippies and "yuppies" (where'd that come from?) for my "problems". I didn't even mention having any problems. I'm even not sure what "problems" you could be referring to - ?? Perhaps you'd care to identify them for me, David, since we're such good friends and you know me so well?

[You seem to complain about a lot of things]

The reason I don't post a daily blog - despite the fact that people ask me to do so on a fairly regular basis - is precisely to avoid "complaining about a lot of things".

[...where is your cartoon? instead of trying to right the "wrong" you just get really pissed off and then go back to reveling in your nostalgic tastes and buying stuff off ebay. No shame in that...]

How would you possibly know what I'm working on in my spare time? And how the hell do you know what I buy on eBay? And even if you did - how would that information concern you? I'm certainly relieved that you can find no "shame" in this theoretical lifestyle you've presumed for me though, Dave. Now that I have your tacit approval, I can rest much easier.

[...there is also no shame in people today enjoy [sic] vintage video games or campy lame 80's cartoon [sic] because it's just what they grew up with. And some stuff in the 50's and 60's was equally kitschy...]

Ah, yes - but to what degree, and in what proportion? Allow me to suggest you've completely missed the whole point of this post.

[...but i'm sure he has plenty of money of his own that he could use to just sit down and animate his own shorts...]

You seem sure of a lot of things that you don't actually know anything about. How are you privy to John's personal finances? Does he share this private information with you? (Allow me to venture a wild guess here - No, he emphatically does not! Another intellectually dishonest conclusion based on a faulty premise. At least you're consistent.)

[I'd rather see you do a comic about how hippies ruined things than just whine whine whine.]

What you call whining, I'd call enlightening - at least judging by the majority of reader responses. Since we're apparently now on the subject of wish fulfillment, here's mine: I'd personally much rather see you respond to points that were actually made, rather than invent your own in order to corral the conversation into an opportunity for you to pat yourself on the back.

But I guess we all can't have everything, can we?

Rick Roberts said...

"And also with a whole new vein of distribution for the said content (the INTERWEB!!)"

I am as much an advocate of independence from the studios just like you but there is one problem, money. We have no choice but to whore ourselves out to the evil studios to get bread on the table. However, if one would want to avoid the dependence of the industry the best thing to do is to venture into all sorts of creative endeavors.