The Most Famous Brand Mascots Of All Time

Matt Kasper


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famous brand mascots

In the kaleidoscope of brands vying for attention in the bustling marketplace, one feature has consistently emerged as an endearing symbol of identity and familiarity: the brand mascot. These loveable characters, full of quirks and charisma, inject life into brands, making them more memorable and relatable. They weave tales of intrigue and nostalgia, capturing our hearts with their playful antics and iconic taglines.

As we delve into the fascinating world of brand mascots, think of it as stepping into a grand hall of fame, where larger-than-life figures adorn the walls. There’s an air of familiarity and nostalgia that wraps around you like a warm blanket as you encounter the smiling faces of characters who’ve been integral parts of our lives.

So, without further ado, let’s venture into this vibrant chronicle of brand mascots. Let’s reacquaint ourselves with these iconic figures that have entertained, engaged, and enchanted us over the years.

List Of Famous Brand Mascots

ronald mcdonald mascot

Ronald McDonald

Company: McDonald’s
Year Created: 1963

The face of the world’s biggest fast-food franchise, Ronald McDonald, was conceived by Washington’s own Oscar-winning illustrator Willard Scott. He was created to bring a sense of magic to the fast-food dining experience and to compete with other rising food mascots. Ronald was initially a quaint clown with a cup for a nose and a tray for a hat!

Trivia: Few know this, but Willard Scott was the first actor to portray Ronald in TV commercials.

mr peanut mascot

Mr. Peanut

Company: Planters
Year Created: 1916

Born from a drawing competition, this sophisticated nut was a creation of a 14-year-old boy named Antonio Gentile. The prize? A whopping $5! The commercial artist, Andrew Wallach, added the monocle, top hat, and cane we now associate with the debonair legume.

Trivia: Did you know that during World War II, Mr. Peanut’s monocle was removed due to the shortage of metal?

kool aid man mascot

The Kool-Aid Man

Company: Kool-Aid
Year Created: 1954

More than a character, the Kool-Aid Man was designed as an embodiment of pure joy and refreshment. He was initially a villain in the early ads, where kids would seek him for delicious Kool-Aid. The iconic “Oh Yeah!” wall-busting transformation was an ingenious marketing strategy to make the brand more appealing to kids.

Trivia: The Kool-Aid Man had his own comic book series with Marvel in the ’80s. Kool-Aid Comics on eBay.

tony the tiger mascot

Tony The Tiger

Company: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
Year Created: 1952

Introduced alongside three other mascots, Tony emerged as the favorite due to his captivating charisma and iconic catchphrase, “They’re Grrreat!”. The decision to make Tony the solo mascot turned Frosted Flakes into a top-selling cereal brand. You can see more of Tony on our Complete List Of Cereal Mascots.

Trivia: Not many know this, but Tony the Tiger is a family man, with a wife named Mrs. Tony and a son and a daughter named Tony Jr. and Antoinette.

colonel sanders kfc

Colonel Sanders

Company: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Year Created: 1952

Harland Sanders, a.k.a. Colonel Sanders, isn’t just a mascot, he’s the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He became the face of KFC to emphasize the brand’s commitment to home-style cooking. His signature white suit and black string tie convey a genteel Southern charm.

Trivia: The Colonel isn’t a military rank. In fact, Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel, a title of honor bestowed by the state of Kentucky.

pilsbury doughboy mascot

The Doughboy

Company: Pillsbury
Year Created: 1965

Officially named “Poppin’ Fresh”, the Doughboy was created by Rudy Perz, a copywriter at Leo Burnett. He came up with the idea of a playful character that could bring warmth and charm to kitchens worldwide.

Trivia: Do you know the Doughboy has a family? That’s right, a wife named Poppie Fresh and two children: Popper and Bun Bun.

mr clean mascot

Mr. Clean

Company: Proctor & Gamble
Year Created: 1958

Mr. Clean, with his white eyebrows, gold earring, and muscular physique, was designed to be the ultimate symbol of cleanliness and strength. His creator, Harry Barnhart, and the commercial artist, Ernie Allen, designed him to be tough on dirt and grime but gentle on surfaces.

Trivia: Do you know the Doughboy has a family? That’s right, a wife named Poppie Fresh and two children: Popper and Bun Bun.

geico gecko mascot

Geico Gecko

Company: Geico
Year Created: 1999

Born from a creative way to work around a SAG strike, the Geico Gecko has since become an advertising mainstay. With his charming Cockney accent, he offers a friendly face while simplifying insurance jargon.

Trivia: The Gecko was initially voiced by actor Kelsey Grammer before the switch to a Cockney accent, performed by Jake Wood.

chester cheetah cheetos

Chester Cheetah

Company: Cheetos
Year Created: 1986

This cool cat was created as a response to the mascot trend among competing snack brands. With his sunglasses and high-top shoes, Chester Cheetah personified the brand’s slogan: “Dangerously Cheesy.

Trivia: Chester initially appeared in a series of art heist-themed ads where he attempted to steal Cheetos art pieces from a museum.

jolly green giant mascot

Jolly Green Giant

Company: B&G Foods
Year Created: 1928

Originally just a sketch to help sell a new variety of pea, the Giant evolved into a friendly behemoth who watches over the Jolly Green Giant Valley, symbolizing the bounty of the earth.

Trivia: The Giant’s famous catchphrase, “Ho, ho, ho,” was ranked as the third greatest advertising slogan in the 20th century by Tagline Guru.

lucky charms mascot

Lucky Leprechaun

Company: General Mills
Year Created: 1964

The mascot for General Mills’ marshmallow-infused cereal, Lucky the Leprechaun, was created by Alan Snedeker. Lucky’s love for magic and whimsicality has charmed kids for generations. Not to mention he has one of the most memorable slogans ever, “They’re Magically Delicious”.

Trivia: Lucky wasn’t always alone on the cereal box; in the early 1970s, he was briefly replaced by Waldo the Wizard.

michelin man mascot

Michelin Man

Company: Michelin
Year Created: 1898

Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man, personifies durability and road comfort. Conceived from a stack of tires, he’s now synonymous with Michelin, giving a friendly wave and the promise, “Michelin, because so much is riding on your tires.

Trivia: Bibendum was originally depicted holding a glass filled with nails and broken glass, symbolizing the toughness of Michelin tires.

burger king mascot

The Burger King

Company: Burger King
Year Created: 1955

The Burger King, with his oversized head and permanent grin, has been serving up whoppers since the mid-1950s. He is most recognized for his silence and his unforgettable presence in the “Have It Your Way” campaign.

Trivia: The King went through a major rebrand in 2004, turning into a more lifelike, yet equally eerie, silent king, known for his unusual antics in commercials.

chuck e cheese mascot

Chuck E. Cheese

Company: Chuck E. Cheese
Year Created: 1977

With a cap worn jauntily to one side, a long snout, and a wide grin, Chuck E. Cheese isn’t your average mouse. As the mascot of his eponymous family entertainment center, he’s charmed his way into the hearts of millions of children with his lively games and cheesy pizza.

Trivia: Did you know that the ‘E’ in Chuck E. Cheese stands for Entertainment? The full name of the character is Charles Entertainment Cheese!

energizer bunny mascot

Energizer Bunny

Company: Energizer
Year Created: 1989

Pink, shades-wearing, and perpetually on the move, the Energizer Bunny is the epitome of non-stop energy. First hopping onto our screens in the late 1980s, he’s come to symbolize the long-lasting power of Energizer batteries with his continuous drumming and his unforgettable tagline, “It keeps going and going and going…

Trivia: The Energizer Bunny began as a parody of the Duracell Bunny, which was only used in Europe and Australia.

m and m mascots


Company: Mars
Year Created: 1954

Bright, colorful, and filled with character, each M&M’s mascot represents a different variety of the candy. Their playful banter in TV commercials and charming personalities. The candy-coated characters have taken on lives of their own, becoming integral parts of the brand’s identity.

Trivia: The green M&M was introduced in 1995, making her debut in a Super Bowl commercial.

Here are all the mascots we have covered in order from their debut year, oldest to newest:

  • Michelin Man (Bibendum): Michelin – 1894
  • Mr. Peanut: Planters – 1916
  • Jolly Green Giant: Green Giant – 1928
  • Colonel Sanders: KFC – 1935
  • Tony the Tiger: Frosted Flakes – 1952
  • The M&M’s Characters: Mars, Incorporated – 1954
  • The Kool-Aid Man: Kool-Aid – 1954
  • The Burger King: Burger King – 1955
  • Mr. Clean: Procter & Gamble – 1958
  • Ronald McDonald: McDonald’s – 1963
  • Lucky Leprechaun: General Mills – 1964
  • The Doughboy (Pillsbury): Pillsbury – 1965
  • Chuck E. Cheese: Chuck E. Cheese’s – 1977
  • Chester Cheetah: Cheetos – 1986
  • Energizer Bunny: Energizer – 1989
  • Geico Gecko: Geico – 1999

Pioneering Female Brand Mascots

rosie the riveter mascot

In the vast landscape of brand mascots, it’s easy to notice a common thread: most mascots are male. This pattern has historical roots, often linked to stereotypical depictions of gender roles in advertising. However, there has been a gradual shift in recent years, and we’ve begun to witness the emergence of remarkable female brand mascots who are redefining the industry narrative.

Perhaps the most renowned among these trailblazers is Rosie the Riveter, the stalwart symbol of female empowerment during World War II. Although not initially conceived as a brand mascot, Rosie has since been embraced by numerous brands as a symbol of women’s tenacity and strength. She made a poignant statement in her time and continues to be an enduring figure of gender equality.

Similarly, the charming, youthful mascot Wendy of Wendy’s fast-food chain, with her red pigtailed hair and freckles, has captured hearts globally, although she is more a logo than a mascot. As the face of the brand, she’s portrayed as lively and friendly, breaking away from the cliché of women mascots often being cast in motherly or domestic roles. Also worth mentioning is Mrs. Butterworth, the motherly figure known for her rich, syrupy goodness. She stands tall amongst her peers, offering a blend of warmth and sweetness that has made breakfasts brighter since 1961.

These pioneering female mascots have transcended the gender barriers and biases often perpetuated in the world of marketing and branding. They have stood the test of time, proving that women mascots can be as effective, engaging, and memorable as their male counterparts. As we look ahead, we anticipate the arrival of more diverse and empowering female figures in the mascot hall of fame, promoting broader representation.

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