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face behind the brandMany name brands became so by creating a universally-recognized image. And while many company’s products are what serve as that image, it is often a character representing that product or service that stands out more vividly in a consumer’s mind.

Take a look at some of the most iconic brand mascots over the years.

1. Mr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut was the result of a drawing contest back in 1906, and ever since, he’s been on the front of Planters jars across the nation. A 14-year-old boy submitted the drawing, winning the Planters competition.

In 2013, comedian Bill Hader gave Mr. Peanut a voice makeover, but his original design still remains unchanged. Unverified reports suggest that Mr. Peanut’s given name, the one that appeared on the submission form during the contest in 1906, was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe.

2. Colonel Sanders

While KFC’s Colonel Sanders is one of the most iconic of all time, he was also the restaurant’s founder. Back in 1952 the real Colonel Sanders opened the first KFC, and while his image has become iconic, so too has his catchphrase for the chicken that is now sold all over the world: “Finger lickin’ good.” Colonel Sanders, as a mascot, can still be found throughout KFC restaurants worldwide.

3. Cornelius “Corny” Rooster

It’s not commonly known that the Kellogg’s rooster is named Cornelius. While he’s been one the most recognizable mascots for years, he’s also been one of the quietest. He’s rarely appeared in commercials, though he dates all away back to 1957 when he first appeared on boxes of Corn Flakes. Though Cornelius hasn’t had many lines, he can still be found front and center on cereal boxes in grocery aisles across America.

4. Michelin Man

Michelin Man of Michelin Tires has had, perhaps, one of the longest lifespans of brand mascots. Back in 1898 Andre Michelin had an idea to use an image of a man made of stacked tires in an advertisement. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the Michelin Man was shown in an animation. Since these humble beginnings, the Michelin Man has seen many changes. In the early 1900s he was a knight, then part of the aristocracy, and then morphed into something that resembles what he is today: a friendly neighbor offering you a hand. You can still find him all over the world, wherever Michelin tires are sold.

5. Geico Caveman

The Geico caveman hit the airwaves in 2004 accompanied with the, “So easy a caveman could do it” catchphrase. The caveman mascot was so popular, he and his family even enjoyed their own show on ABC. However, the comedic show was a commercial flop and was canceled after just a few episodes. While the Geico gecko has been a fallback since the caveman campaign concluded, the caveman was a widely recognized mascot for the Geico brand, and one that is missed.

There have been many iconic mascots throughout the years, but only a handful have stood the test of time. From long standing symbols like the Michelin Man, to retired mascots like those loveable cavemen, these characters have been in consumers’ lives for years, each with their own unique history.

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