Some of the best-loved advertisement images the the 20th century have names like Tony, Betty and Ronald. Others, favor the Marlboro Man, might not be together beloved, however grew to have tremendous global impact together an prompt identifier that Philip Morris Co."s Marlboro cigarettes.

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From frozen vegetables to packaged cake mix, from fast food to vehicle tires, these closely drawn personalities are the personifications the businesses the began tiny but prospered to become dominant brand in their areas -- thanks in large part to their famous icons.

Many that the most famous ad icons were the brainchild that one agency: Chicago-based Leo Burnett Co., which devoted in structure brands with the usage of enormously famous characters, including the most effective icon of all time, the Marlboro Man.

Advertising Age"s list of the peak 10 advertisement icons of the 20th century establish those photos that have had the most powerful resonance in the marketplace. The criteria include effectiveness, longevity, recognizability and social impact.


Marlboro Man

PRODUCT: Marlboro cigarettes


CREATOR: Leo Burnett Co.

The most an effective -- and in part quarters, most hated -- brand picture of the century, the Marlboro man stands global as the can be fried American cowboy and also masculine trademark, helping develop Marlboro together the best-selling tobacco in the world.

Today, also a cite of the Marlboro male as an effective ad icon brings protests from medical care workers who view first-hand the devastation wrought by years of cigarette smoking. Much more than any kind of other issue, the values of tobacco advertising -- both morally and legally -- have separated the advertising industry.

But also those advertisement professionals who abhor the tobacco industry will, once pressed, agree the the Marlboro man has had actually unprecedented success as a global marketing device for selling Philip Morris Cos." brand.

In the beginning earlier in the 1950s, a time when cigarettes were embraced in also the politest society, Burnett produced the macho symbol as a way to reposition Marlboro from a "mild as May" ladies cigarette to a product with more comprehensive appeal. The initial newspaper advertisement from Burnett carried the slogan "delivers the items on flavor" and it immediately sent sales skyrocketing.

By the moment the Marlboro man went nationwide in 1955, sales were at $5 billion, a 3,241% jump over 1954 and also light years ahead the pre-cowboy sales, once the brand"s U.S. Share stood at less than 1%.

Despite his appeal, the cowboy wasn"t the just rough-and-tumble image used to offer the brand"s image. End the next decade, Burnett experimented with other manly types -- sphere players, race vehicle drivers and also rugged guys with tattoos (often friends of the an imaginative team, sporting fake tattoos). Every the pitches worked.

Even v the release in 1957 the the very first article in Reader"s Digest linking lung cancer come smoking, the real males of the Marlboro ads retained ringing increase sales ($20 billion the year), attracting new smokers that both genders. In 1964, the company revived the cowboy yet this time he was in mythical Marlboro Country.

This vivid image paid off in 1971 as soon as cigarette ads to be banned from TV. The striking print shot the cowboys enjoying a smoke on horseback continued to fuel sales growth. In 1972, Marlboro came to be the No. 1 tobacco brand in the world.

As the anti-smoking movement has actually spread, the Marlboro Man has come under particular attack because that his function in luring new customers to a cancer-causing habit.

As a commercial icon, he is both reviled and revered. Yet one measure of this icon"s clout is the no matter just how minimal the imagery it s okay -- reduced on chance to little an ext than a saddle and splash that red -- it still stays instantly evocative the a mythical Marlboro country, that a mythical American cowboy and of the No. 1 brand that cigarettes that provided that cowboy actual lung cancer.


Ronald McDonald

PRODUCT: McDonald"s restaurants


CREATOR: McDonald"s franchisee Oscar Goldstein and also his local advertisement agency

McDonald"s Corp. Advertising executive Roy Bergold deserve to testify come the reach and recognition that Ronald McDonald. Yet even the couldn"t think what he witnessed sooner or later in Milwaukee.

"Ronald was visiting sick children and he came upon a youngster in a coma," recalls Mr. Bergold. "I watched together the child"s eyes began to flicker as Ronald stood by his side. The boy in reality regained consciousness during his visit. There"s no way to describe how it occurred or why, but it was nothing short of amazing."

The clown"s astounding powers have definitely worked your magic for McDonald"s due to the fact that he was presented in 1963. The spokesfigure assisted make McDonald"s the most leading fast-food chain top top the planet. He additionally exemplifies one of the many important characteristics of an effective commercial character: the doesn"t offer for McDonald"s, the is McDonald"s.

Ronald was first introduced by McDonald"s Washington franchisee Oscar Goldstein and also a local ad agency in 1963 . Because then his name has actually been attached come a major charitable organization, the Ronald McDonald Foundation; he"s starred in films; and he"s even danced v the new York City Rockettes.

After a quick flirtation v acting adult in ads because that McDonald"s fail Arch deluxe sandwich in the mid-1990s, Ronald returned to his roots and also continues to be used mainly as a fast-food ambassador because that kids. His confront is known by nearly 96% the American children, and also sells because that the fast-food chain in much more than 25 languages.


Jolly green Giant

PRODUCT: Green giant vegetables


CREATOR: Minnesota valley Canning Co.

The environment-friendly Giant"s national advertisement debut in 1928 was disappointing.

Minnesota sink Canning Co. Emerged the giant as a product trademark, however in his earliest days he was stooped and also scowling, wore a scruffy bearskin and looked an ext like the remarkable Hulk than the cool old gardener he is today.

Enter ad agency Erwin, Wasey & Co. The assignment because that the Giant"s transformation was tackled through none other than young Leo Burnett, who boosted the Giant"s hunched posture, turned his scary scowl right into a clear smile and clothed the in a light, leafy outfit.

He also gave the soft tall man a new backdrop -- a sink of crops that highlight the Giant"s height.

When Mr. Burnett opened his own company in 1935, Minnesota valley was one of its an initial clients. The Burnett company soon included the indigenous "Jolly" to the giant"s name, and by 1950, Minnesota Valley adjusted its surname to Green gigantic Co.

The Giant"s beforehand TV appearances, in 1958, however, were no as stellar. Bob Noel, a writer in ~ Burnett, as soon as made these comments about the Giant"s beforehand TV appearances: "They tried guys painted green," a puppet figure and animation. The trouble is "when you shot to relocate the huge around and also really show what the looks like, that comes off a monster. The infant cries and the dog go under the bed."

Mr. Noel devised one ingenious solution: ads that proved just enough of the large to create his presence however not too much to send customers to run for cover. The troubles that developed ultimately lugged the an imaginative staff come a brand-new understanding around the big guy. The giant was most reliable either in silhouette or partial view. Come lighten increase the Giant"s image, Mr. Noel dreamy up his signature "Ho, ho, ho" and lilting "Good points from the garden" song.


Betty Crocker

NAME: Betty Crocker

PRODUCT: Food assets including cake mixes, frostings, microwave popcorn and also biscuit mixes


CREATOR: Washburn crosby Co., a forerunner of general Mills

Long prior to Martha Stewart, there was Betty Crocker.

Betty was developed in 1921 after ~ a promo for gold Medal flour submarine Washburn crosby Co. Through questions around baking. To answer customers in a more personal manner, the agency created a fictitious kitchen expert, pulling the name "Crocker" indigenous a freshly retired director of the company and including the an initial name "Betty" since it sounded friendly.

Washburn Crosby"s mrs employees to be asked to send handwriting samples for Betty"s signature and the one selected as "most distinctive" is tho Betty"s signature today.

From this humble home-ec beginnings, Betty go on to become one the the an initial multimedia superstars. Start in 1924, she held the country"s very first radio food preparation show, "Betty Crocker school of the Air," very first on a neighborhood Minneapolis station and afterwards the NBC radio network.

During the 1930s she assisted advise a cash-strapped country on just how to cook tasty spending plan meals. She to be voted the second-most- famed woman in America after ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, according to fortune in 1945. The was just a issue of time prior to she wooed consumers on television.

After numerous guest appearances ~ above CBS and NBC, where she taught stars such together George Burns and also Gracie Allen come cook, Betty acquired her very own show, "The Betty Crocker search for the All-American Homemaker that Tomorrow." The series, featuring a selection of actresses play Betty, ran from 1954 come 1976.

Meantime, behind-the-scenes Bettys to be authoring cookbooks. Since the 1950s, more than 200 Betty Crocker cookbooks have actually been published. Betty additionally developed her very own line the food products, beginning with the renowned Betty Crocker cake mixes.

Along the way, Betty"s image was refined to reflect the an altering image that women. Over the years she has had actually eight various "looks," from the very first stern gray-haired, older mrs in 1936 to today"s olive-skinned, dark-haired Betty, a product of computer system morphing.


Energizer Bunny

PRODUCT: Eveready Energizer batteries


CREATOR: Chiat/Day

Say what friend will about his long ears and also drumming hands, the Energizer rabbit is one icon who"s gained legs.

Marketing experts contact it the "ultimate product demo" because it does together an efficient job the showcasing the product"s distinctive selling proposition -- long-lived batteries -- in an inventive, fresh way.

"The hare has end up being the can be fried symbol of longevity, perseverance and also determination," says mark Larsen, communications group manager for Energizer. Throughout the past decade, anyone from political leaders to sport stars provided the Energizer hare to describe their staying power.

The Bunny"s incarnation by Chiat/Day was actually a continuation of one idea arisen by DDB Needham an international for Energizer, through a spot that featured drumming pink bunnies in a jab at archrival Duracell"s battery-powered toys. Chiat/Day, after gaining the account, take it the bunny come the following level once it released a collection of commercials the parodied clues for other products and also were interrupted by the powerful pink hare -- going and going and going. The rabbit has showed up in end 115 spots in English and also Spanish with brand-new commercials debuting double a year ~ above average.


Pillsbury Doughboy (aka Poppin" Fresh)

PRODUCT: Assorted Pillsbury foods, consisting of refrigerated dough, bakery mixes, rolls


CREATOR: Leo Burnett Co.

Burnett an imaginative director Rudy Perz was sitting in ~ his kitchen table in the mid-1960s once he dreamed up the idea that a plump, dough figure that would pop out of a pipe of refrigerated rolls. Because then, Pillsbury has actually used Poppin" fresh in an ext than 600 advertising for more than 50 of its products.

Although Perz had actually originally conceived His Doughness together an animated character, he adjusted his mental after see a stop-action tilting method used in the opening credits because that "The Dinah coast Show."

The decision to be made to develop a 3-D Doughboy doll the clay at a expense that seemed choose a tiny fortune 34 years back -- $16,000.

Finding the ideal performer to it is in the voice that the Doughboy to be the finishing touch. After ~ auditioning much more than 50 top actors, the role was awarded come Paul Frees (the voice the "The Adventures that Bullwinkle and also Rocky"s" Boris Badenov). After ~ Frees" fatality in 1986, Jeff Bergman, who also did the voiceover because that Charlie the Tuna, take it over. Today, the high-pitched giggles are handled by JoBe Cerny, the mustachioed on-camera star of Burnett"s Cheer laundry detergent campaign.

The Doughboy to be an immediate success v consumers. His round body and signature ship poke quickly endeared him come adults and also children. Once Pillsbury approve a Doughboy doll, the toy became so popular, Playthings Magazine named it "Toy the the Year" in 1972.


Aunt Jemima

PRODUCT: Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrup


CREATOR: chris Rutt/Davis Milling Co.

Few commercial symbols deserve come be dubbed "cultural touchstones" of far-ranging political and also social change. Yet the Aunt Jemima trademark is one of them.

The image of the smiling black woman first appeared on thousands of boxes the pancake mix in the early on 1890s, but throughout the 20th century, Aunt Jemima"s trademark mirrored America"s transforming perceptions that African-American women.

The idea the Aunt Jemima was first conceived by newspaperman and entrepreneur kris Rutt, follow to the Afro-American Almanac. Mr. Rutt and also his partner, Charles Underwood, had actually developed and packaged a ready-mixed, self-rising pancake flour but they had actually not settled on a name or brand positioning.

One evening Mr. Rutt attend a vaudeville show and heard a tune dubbed "Aunt Jemima" sung by a black-faced demonstrate clad in an apron and bandana headband. The melody to be such a hit, Rutt chose to usage the song"s title together the surname for his pancake mix.

When Rutt and also Underwood later sold the service to Davis Milling, the firm hired Nancy Green, a 59-year-old previous slave, to serve as the life trademark because that the mix. The image of Aunt Jemina, however, is an artist"s rendering and has appeared on Aunt Jemima products -- currently marketed by successor Quaker Oats Co. -- ever since.

Beginning in the 1950s, the Aunt Jemima logo design started coming under criticism the its picture of a black color "Mammy" in a kerchief to be an outdated and an adverse portrayal of African-American women. During the 1950s and also "60s the trademark was progressively modernized, v the many recent transforms being do in 1989.

Today, Aunt Jemima"s challenge beams from beneath a full head of dark hair -- sans kerchief -- yet her sparkling eyes and also warm smile remain the same.


Michelin Man

PRODUCT: Michelin tires


CREATOR: Idea conceived by Edouard Michelin; artist"s rendition developed by O"Galop; DDB Needham worldwide handled later executions

Andre Michelin i was delegated the development of this jolly, rotund figure after his brother, Edouard, observed that a display of stacked tires resembled a human being form. The artist"s sketches of a bloated male made the tires was precisely what the brothers had in mind.

One in particular, picturing the character lifting a beer glass and also shouting, "Nunc est bibendum! (Now is the time to drink!)" appeared to embody Michelin"s slogan in ~ the time, "Michelin tires gulp down up all obstacles."

The artist reworked the hulking figure, instead of the beer bottle with a goblet the nails and also glass the the character increased in a toast come all road hazards.

Today, the Michelin Man is one of the world"s oldest and most well-known trademarks and also it represents Michelin in over 150 countries.


Tony the Tiger

PRODUCT: Kellogg"s sugar Frosted Flakes (later Frosted Flakes)


CREATOR: Leo Burnett Co.

Only one well known feline (sorry, Morris) can rightfully insurance claim he"s the cat"s meow of commercials: Tony the Tiger.

Adland"s premier promotion pussycat was born in 1951, when Burnett to be hired to create a campaign for Kellogg"s brand-new cereal, sugar Frosted Flakes. Tony was initially one of 4 animated critters developed to market the cereal, but he conveniently edged the end Katy the Kangaroo, Newt the Gnu and also Elmo the Elephant to come to be the sole star the the grain maker"s ad efforts.

Tony"s original designer, children"s publication illustrator boy name Provinsen, an initial created one orange cat through black stripes and a blue nose that walked on all fours. However like many celebrities, Tony has actually undergone extensive cosmetic changes over the decades.

The many dramatic alteration occurred beforehand in his career, when Tony"s football-shaped head was changed with a rounder, softer form. The was followed by a collection of various other minor face-lifts such together an eye color readjust from eco-friendly to gold and the enhancement of "whisker bones" and also contours.

When America began heading for the health clubs, Tony likewise got a slimmer, much more muscular physique. He"s likewise risen in stature from a scrawny, cereal-box dimension pussycat who ambled on all fours come a 6-foot figure with a towering, upright stance.

One point that remained consistent for lot of Tony"s life was his voice. Thurl Ravenscroft provided the sole voiceover for Tony and also his trademark growl: "They"re Grrrreat!" In 1952, Tony"s son, Tony Jr., to be introduced into the campaign. And in the beforehand 1970"s, Mama Tony, Tony"s wife; and also Antoinette, Tony"s daughter (born in 1974, the Chinese year of the tiger), additionally came ~ above board. The development of the Tony family expanded his audience appeal.


Elsie the Cow

PRODUCT: Borden dairy products products

DATE INTRODUCED: 1939 (first general magazine ad)

CREATOR: Stuart Peabody, Borden"s director of advertising

Elsie started out as one of 4 cows (Mrs. Blossom, Bessie and Clara were her sidekicks) that appeared in a 1936 cartoon collection featured in medical journals -- just 4 friendly bovines chatting together in a pasture. The ads were a huge hit and doctors bespeak reprints for your offices.

One day a radio advertising writer penned a letter supposedly composed by Elsie and also directed it come commentator sirloin Hughes, who read it on the air. The gimmick proved well-known and extr letters were read in subsequent broadcasts.

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By 1939, Elsie was being featured in her own magazine ads and her campaign was vote the finest of the year by the Jury that the 1939 annual Advertising Awards. Through the World"s same approaching, Borden made decision to function a live Elsie in the exhibit, so company executives looked at 150 cows prior to settling ~ above a 7-year-old Jersey named "You"ll perform Lobelia."

The Brookfield, Mass., aboriginal was not only a beauty, she had a flair because that drama. Through the finish of that year, much more than 7 million people had captured one of Elsie"s an individual appearances.

After her shattering success in ~ the 1939 World"s Fair, Elsie go on to publication even tonier events. She headlined a Bovine ball at the seventh Regiment Armory, hosted a exclusive dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel because that members that the press, and also even appeared in a four-poster bed in ~ the exhibit in ~ the World"s same in 1940. Her next stop to be Hollywood, where she walk on to star together Buttercup in the film "Little Men."

After a quick stretch the end to pasture in the so late 1960s, Elsie to be resurrected as the Borden symbol. This day the photo of the dew-eyed cow through the sweet face and