There are brand mascots that we know well because we grew up with them. They were in the pubs of the 90s, were revamped in the 2000s and some continue to exist today. Despite the time we spent with these mascots, there are quite a few whose first names we don’t even know. What a lack of politeness on our part… The time for introductions has finally arrived!
1. Ulysse, the Télérama guy
The man who judges films and shows in the pages of Télérama was called Ulysse. His first name is a nod to the creator of the first version of the character in 1950 because the latter was called Omer, so he chose the character’s first name from The Odyssey. Since 2022, Ulysses has been replaced by a new character: Pénélope (in homage to Pénélope Bagieu who is the designer).
2. Didy, the Caisse d’Epargne squirrel
In 1942, Caisse d’Épargne organized a short story writing competition open to French prisoners of war in Germany with the aim of finding a new emblem for the company. One of the tales, called “Didy and Rascassot”, wins the first prize. In the story, soldiers are tormented by hunger and decide to eat a squirrel named Didy, but when they dig into the tree trunk to flush out the animal, hundreds of nuts escape. Saving the squirrel therefore saved his life and this character, present on the logo, became the brand’s mascot.
3. Credit, Cetelem’s mascot
In 2004, Cetelem launched a call for tenders for 35 million euros to French advertisers and it was TBWA Paris that offered the character of Crédito. They know full well that a brand icon is necessary to identify an advertiser and it’s even easier when it’s an anthropomorphic character.
4. Bob, Butagaz’s Bear
Butagaz’s blue bear has been around since 1969, but it wasn’t until 2005 that the brand gave it a name. They choose BOB for “ Butagaz l’Ours Bleu”, simple and effective.
5. Ramses, the Green Light Cat
Feu Vert’s cat has been around for more than 15 years, but not everyone knows that its nickname is Ramsès. In 2021, Ramsès announced in an advertising spot that he wanted to take a “Shabbat” leave and that he would therefore disappear from advertisements for the car care brand. In reality, he left only to return better in 2022, the year of the 50th anniversary of the brand.
6. Lila, la vache Milka
The Milka cow has existed since 1972 and her first name is Lila in reference to the color of her spots. In 2014, a surfer asked Milka on Facebook for the first name of the brand’s star cow, and it was one of the first times that the character’s first name was announced.
7. Cornelius (Corny) Rooster, le coq des Corn Flakes de Kellogg’s
Corn Flakes were the very first Kellogg’s product to be marketed in 1906, but the rooster mascot did not arrive until much later, in the 1950s. His name was Cornelius Rooster (Cornelius the rooster) but he was called “Corny “. Smart.
8. Uncle Sacasous, Mr. Monopoly
Originally, the Monopoly mascot was called “Rich Uncle Pennybags” in its original version and “Oncle plein aux as” or “Oncle Sacasous” in its French version. Anyway, that’s the name that appeared in the rules of the board game but people always called him “Mr Monopoly”. After consultation with the fans, Hasbro then decided to officially change its name to “Mr Monopoly”. It’s still much less original.
9. Chip, Cookie Crisp’s wolf
Since 2005, the Cookie Crisp cereal mascot has been a wolf named Chip. Before him, the mascot was a dog but he was also called Chip. Not a lot of imagination at Nestlé.
10. Julius, the Pringles Man
The guy whose head you can only see on the boxes of Pringles is called Julius Pringles or “Mister P”. The first version of the logo was drawn in 1967 and has changed many times since. In 2020, the latest, very clean version of the logo did not sit well with fans who are clamoring for the return of former Julius Pringles.
11. Dig’Em, the Smacks Frog
The first name of the Smacks cereal mascot has never been used in France but it can be seen in advertising campaigns in the United States. The frog’s name is Dig’Em, which roughly means “dig-in”.
12. Tux, the Linux penguin
Tux the penguin became the official logo of Linux when its creator, Larry Ewing, won a competition held by the creator of Linux in 1996. His first name, Tux, is the shortened word “tuxedo” and later became an acronym for Torvalds and UNIX.