Thursday, June 21, 2007

And Another Thing: Are Uncle Ben & The Cream Of Wheat Guy The Same Person?

Endangered Coffee, in a comment on yesterday's post, pointed out that Mr. Clean isn't the only advertising icon to have undergone changes since being introduced. His example was the Brawny guy, who shaved and dyed his hair, basically going from the love child of Freddie Mercury and Ron Howard...


... to the result of a menage a trois between Greg Brady, Mel Gibson and Jay Leno.

You can be the judge of whether or not that's an improvement.

Now, I believe that Mr. Clean has undergone a change in perception amongst the general public, concerning his sexuality, as opposed to an actual makeover. I think the character has remained fairly constant, although I would be curious to see an older image to find out if his earring changed ears at any time.

In any case, here are some other icons that have changed since I was a kid:




No longer a "mammy" from some plantation, Aunt Jemima sports a stylish coiffure instead of a do-rag. I believe she's also lost a few pounds and may have had a nose job.










Betty Crocker has undergone numerous changes since first being introduced, from schoolmarm spinster-type to June Cleaveresque to power suit-wearing yuppie to multi-ethnic amalgam, last I checked.




















I can't find photographic proof of the following, but I believe that the Pillsbury Dough Boy has become darker as the years have passed. That is, his "skin" is a shade or two less white than it once was. If true, this is either an attempt at upping his "PC" value or they just decided that something slightly baked is more appealing than raw dough.





Meanwhile, the Morton Salt Girl has gone from somewhat chubby to slim blonde and then to slightly-pissed brunette. She's gotten a slightly smaller share of space on the label with each change and perhaps that's why she looks a tad grouchier. Or maybe she's actually a slug and all of that salt has shriveled her up.

Finally, Bazooka Joe has gone from one-eyed corporate huckster...


... to one-eyed corporate huckster with a rad 'tude, yo. Apparently, eyepatches never go out of style!


Any others come to mind for you?

See you Monday with the latest softball news.

18 comments:

endangered coffee said...

The new Bazooka Joe reminds me of Itchy and Scrathy's ill-fated efforts to bring Poochie into the mix.

David Sullivan said...

Snoopy went from being a skinny, edgey guy to a fat,lovable pup. (Kind of like me)

David Sullivan said...

Didn't Betty and Veronica get breast implants?

Auntie Scotch said...

GREAT POST!

Suldog said...

Re:Snoopy - Absolutely mute, not even "thought balloons", in the early days of the strip. He became increasingly anthropomorphic as time passed. I liked him better when he was silent, and before he became a spokesdog for a hundred different products.

Re: Betty and Veronica - They DO look slighty more busty. By the way, here's a tip for all you ladies out there. If you want to know what kind of man you're hooked up with, ask him if he prefers Betty or Veronica. If he says Betty, keep him with no questions asked. If he says Veronica, further investigation is needed. Ask him about Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble. And if he says he prefers Ethel or Midge, get out of Dodge pronto!

Suldog said...

For further discussion (OK, not a discussion; a monologue) along these lines, see...

http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2005/09/ginger-or-mary-ann.html

Suldog said...

Oh, God, I don't even know how to post a link on my own blog. Let's try again:

http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/2005/09
/ginger-or-mary-ann.html

Copy and paste it, and remember to hook up the two parts, and...

Oh, skip it.

gingajoy said...

ha! love this.
hmmm.

Tony the Tiger.

The Colonel (KFC)

Keebler Elves

Snap, Crackle and Pop (Rice Krispies)




I could go on and on (heh)

Suldog said...

You know, I was going to include Snap, Crackle & Pop, but couldn't find any shots of the older characterizations.

Tony The Tiger definitely changed in a huge way. I'll use that as a segue into giving props to one of the best voice-over people EVER - Thurl Ravenswood. He was the voice of Tony, up until his death last year. He was also the bass singing voice in "The Grinch" in the animated version. Most people assume it was Boris Karloff doing the singing, since he voiced the Grinch speaking, but it was Thurl Ravenswood. One-of-a-kind voice.

Suldog said...

RavensCROFT. Thurl Ravenscroft. I give the man props and I get his name wrong. I am utterly pitiful.

Barbara said...

Very interesting, all these changes happening right under my nose. those advertising folks are sneaky. Thanks for clueing me in.

AliP said...

Whhhhoooooaaaaaaa......this has been way enlightening. Now I am pondering who else in my cupboards has had "work done".
And for the gals: Skipper, Gilligan, Or the Professor??
Archie or Reggie?
Mr Brawny or the Marlborough Man?

Kuanyin said...

Excellent, thought-provoking post!

Kuanyin said...

I forgot to mention that I tagged you today for another meme on Who's Yo Mama. If ya don't wanna play this time, that's ok. :-)

Ericka said...

my heavens, you mean you missed the contest to chose a new mr. brawny? i have to confess - i voted. believe it or not, that guy was the least freaky looking of them all.

and a relative of mine was the model for one of the original morton's salt girls. (can't remember which one now, but shortly after she modeled for it, she died in a flu epidemic.) weird family trivia, ain't it great?

Thurl Ravenscroft - and what an awesome name too!

tom said...

Great post, I think Johnny Depp's Pirates movies brought the eye patch back!

Rhea said...

Aunt Jemima had the same nose job that Michael Jackson had. Her nose is thinner to make her appear less typically African-American. Sad. And I think the Brawny guy is boring either way. Great post.

Anali said...

Very interesting post! I had no idea that the Brawny guy changed!