Topping the list of top food stamp ‘mascots’ was the well-known bearded sea dog, who has served his young shipmates fish fingers on British screens for 55 years
Image: Mirror Screen Grab)
Captain Birdseye has been voted the most iconic advertising character on British television in a poll.
But the flirtatious Gold Blend couple – Tony and Sharon – will be missed the most, according to brand experts.
Topping the list of top food stamp ‘mascots’ was the well-known bearded seal, who has been serving fish fingers to his young shipmates on British screens for 55 years.
First played by actor John Hewer in 1967, Italian silver fox Riccardo Acerbi is the latest incarnation to don the captain’s hat.
According to The Grocer’s poll, Cadbury’s chocolate frog Freddo is second in the powerhouse list of ad creations, while relative newcomer Kevin the Carrot, who first hit screens in Aldi’s 2016 Christmas campaign, took third place.
Like Kevin, who has captured the hearts of shoppers, Marks & Spencer has had a hit on its hands since unleashing Percy Pig on the public in 1992.
The character, who started life as a bag of candy and now has an assortment of confectionery, clothing and cakes, and is also a social media sensation, even made it onto fashion bible Vogue’s Hot List in 2008.
Coco the monkey who is the face of Kellogg’s Coco Pops, the M&Ms characters and the Duracell bunny all made the top 10 list of advertising icons.
But The Grocer also named nine faces of brands that have disappeared from TV screens but are still missed by publics who would welcome a comeback.
These include Tony and Sharon – played by Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan – in a series of romantic commercials for Nescafe Gold Blend that ran from 1987 to 1993.
Their affair, “Don’t They Want an Affair” captivated the nation, culminating in 1989’s “The Kiss,” which was watched by 30 million viewers.
The loveable Martians from instant mash brand Smash, who cackled at the thought of people peeling potatoes to make mash, and Del Monte’s man, who always said yes, were on the list of past but not forgotten.
Camilla Yates, strategy director at creative agency Elvis said: “Research has shown that brand characters are more powerful drivers of uniqueness than any other identity element, including a brand’s logo.
“But they go beyond that and assert themselves to humanize a brand, adding warmth and personality to a range of functional attributes and benefits.”
The Grocer added, “More memorable than a slogan and more trusted than celebrities, mascots have for years been ‘visceral shortcuts’ for grocery brands trying to catch their eye.”
The 10 best icons for TV advertising and when they were created
1. Captain Birdseye, Birds Eye – 1967
2. Freddo the Frog, Mondelez/Cadbury – 1973
3. Kevin the Carrot, Aldi – 2016
4. Coco the Monkey, Kellogg’s – 1963
5. M&Ms, Mars Wrigley – 1954
6. Julius Pringle, Kellogg’s—1967
7. Bunny, Duracell – 1973
8. Percy Pig, Marks & Spencer – 1992
9. Peperami Animal, Jack Link’s – 1991
10. Aunt Bessie, Nomad Foods – 1995
And the top nine “gone but not forgotten” promotional symbols
1. Tony and Sharon (1987-1993) – The Nescafe Gold Blend couple
2. PG Tips Chimpanzees (1956-2002)
3. Smash Martians (1974-1992)
4. Oxo family (1958-2016)
5. The Man from the Milk Tray (1968-2016)
6. Man from Del Monte (1980s)
7. Knitting Nanas (1997-2017) – Advertisement for Shreddies
8. George the Bear (1980s) – Hofmeister Lagerbier
9. Douglas the Trombonist (1985-2003) – Lurpak
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/captain-birdseye-named-most-iconic-26927843 Captain Birdseye named the most iconic advertising character on British television - see the full list