Have you been keeping up with our mystery Nostalgicons this week? We've got quite a collection and will keep on testing you on your advertising chops! Below are the three mystery brands that we showcased this week and some fun facts about them, enjoy!
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
You may recognize our first Nostalgiacon from the 1984 hit movie Ghostbusters—the fictional Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The brand mascot, created by Ghostbusters film writer Dan Aykroyd, represents the evil villain in the movie, with its cute-yet-creepy smile.
In the movie, Aykroyd sets up the character by placing the Stay Puft marshmallows in scenes and pointing out the character, especially how everyone loves and admires the mascot. In the end, the giant marshmallow man comes to life, wreaking havoc on New York City until the Ghostbusters can stop him.
The Stay Puft man is a mix between the puffy, lovable Michelin Tire man and the cute Pillsbury Doughboy, but the evil look on his face could easily haunt a person’s dreams. With the new Ghostbusters revamp in theaters now, it will be interesting to see if the film keeps the creepy but adorably squishy ghost as the villain.
The Stay Puft man was carried through “The Real Ghostbusters” TV series and the franchise’s comic books, but he will forever be known for his first city-destroying appearance in 1984. But, honestly, doesn’t the Stay Puft man just look a little hangry? Get that man a cheeseburger.
Bob's Big Boy
Many people today would see the Big Boy icon and not know what it is, but the story of the chubby boy with droopy overalls holding a tray of hamburgers won over American’s hearts 70 years ago.
In 1936 Bob Wian sold his DeSoto Roadster for $350 to start a small 10 seat hamburger joint in Glendale, California, calling it Bob’s Pantry. Bob was able to recuperate the (then) large sum by inventing the first ever DOUBLE DECKER BURGER at the request of a customer (thank you customer, thank you Bob).
A particularly enthusiastic fan of the double decker burger was a little 6 year old who would offer to clean up the restaurant in exchange for a free burger. Bob endearingly called him “Big Boy” and eventually changed the name of his diner to “Bob’s Big Boy”. Another regular customer sketched the chubster on a napkin and an icon was born.
Wian commissioned a Big Boy comic book to give away to children in 1956 and the issuing continued for years--becoming further ingrained in American culture. The overall kid even made a brief appearance in the Austin Powers movies as one of Dr. Evil’s (he’s the villain in case you couldn’t tell) getaway vehicles.
People today might not be as familiar with Big Boy because the franchise owners, the Elias Brothers, had to file for bankruptcy in 2000; this almost completely wiped out Big Boy’s across the nation. Today, you can still find a trace of the American burger at restaurants associated with Big Boy like Bob’s and Shoney’s.
Spuds McKenzie - The Budweiser Dog
If you say the name “Spudz Mackenzie” to a millennial you’ll most likely get a blank stare with a possible guess of an old basketball player or reality TV star; say the name to someone older and you may get a whole different reaction.
Yes, we are talking about the retro canine mascot for Bud Light from 1987-1989. Let’s get real the dog knew how to party, and was quite the ladies’ man. Being featured in numerous ads, no matter the location Spudz MacKenzie was the Bud Light drinking dog who was always the life of the party.
From skiing off a freakin' mountain to chilling poolside with some models this dog was living the life, all thanks to the advertising team at Bud Light. Yes it’s true, a dog not only consumed more beer than you but also has more game as well. And if the slightly weird humor of having a personified dog as a drinking mascot didn’t appeal to you, the undeniable cuteness of this dog could definitely make you reach for the Bud Light instead of any other beer your buzzed friend is handing you.
Although the dog was extremely cute and could probably drink any man, woman, or underage teen under the table, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) claimed Anheuser-Busch was using the dog to appeal to children in an effort to get kids interested in Bud Light at an early (and illegal) age. Okay so MADD probably had a valid point. Although the Federal Trade Commission found no evidence against Anheuser-Busch, the company decided to retire Spudz in 1989.