MASCOTS are an animal, person, or object that is considered to be lucky, used as a symbol of a team or organization, or to sell a product.
This object represents a group, an identity for consumer products, sports teams, schools, societies, a company, organizations, a military unit, and a spokesperson in advertising. The mascot can be a live person, an animal, a cartoon character, a costumed character, or inanimate object.
Wikipedia lists many categories including: college, computing, commercial products mascots, professional sports, public service, TV and movie, computer and video game, political parties, music genres, military, and Olympic.
Below I’ve listed some familiar product or brand mascots used in advertising in the United States that are redheads or are red/orange. I actually found many CEREAL characters listed below from Tophers Castle website, who has compiled a wonderful exhaustive list and you can see more images there. He graciously shared several with me, but to see others you need to visit his site.
Also, if there are others icons from other countries I’m not familiar with, I’d love to hear about them! (See my 'Contact Me page.)
Wendy The cute redhead mascot from 'Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers' restaurant chains. Dave Thomas founded the fast-food restaurant in 1969.
The red-haired mascot is named after Dave Thomas's 4th child, Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas Morse (seen here in a photo taken years ago, posted in a Wendy's restaurant).
Speedy Cute redhead mascot that debuted in 1951 representing 'Alka-Seltzer' - an effervescent pain reliever and antacid that dissolves in water. Created by the Wade Ad Agency. Speedy’s body and hat are an Alka-Seltzer tablet. His name echoes the theme of the product’s "speedy relief." Between 1954 and 1964, the little guy appeared in several hundred TV commercials and sang his "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz" song in a high voice, by voice actor Dick Beals.
Snap Redhead gnome-like cartoon character created in 1933 to tout Kellogg’s breakfast cereal ‘Rice Krispies.’ A few years later, 2 more characters were added to make the trio "Snap, Crackle, and Pop" who appeared on Rice Krispies cereal boxes and ads. The names came from the radio ad that described the 'talking' cereal. Their look was made over in 1949 to have more human features. Snap has red hair and wears a white baker’s hat and red kerchief, Crackle wears a striped stocking cap, and Pop wears a marching band-type cap.
The Smackin’ Brothers In the mid-1960s, Kellogg’s used 2 redheaded young boys wearing boxing gloves and boxing trunks to promote 'Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks' cereal. You’d hear the slogan: "Sugar Smacks. Honey on the outside, Sugar on the inside, Puffed up wheat, smackin' sweet, a taste that knocks you off of your feet. With the famous one, two, punch --- honey and sugar". One brother wanted a smack, so the other would hit him.
Millie During the early 1970s, Nabisco promoted their sugary shredded wheat cereal 'Nabisco Sweet Wheats' with the help of Blue Roo (blue kangaroo who plays bass), Big Boo (plays trombone), Willie the Kid, and redhead Millie (plays drums).
Little Debbie In 1960, O.D. McKee (founder of McKee Foods) was looking for a name/logo for his snack cakes products and was inspired by a photo of his 4-year-old granddaughter, Debbie. Originally the image was just a red-ink drawing of the smiling young girl, later became a color photo of her with auburn hair, but NOW she's a pretty redhead with rosy cheeks and blue eyes!
Sonny the Cuckoo Bird General Mills cereal created this cartoon character during the 1960s to promote 'Cocoa Puffs.' This obnoxious kooky red cuckoo bird was constantly squawking 'Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs' and on TV was voiced by Chuck McCann.
Lucky the Leprechaun General Mills used Lucky to promote their new cereal ‘Lucky Charms’ created in the mid-1960s around the idea of a charm bracelet. The oat cereal included little bright-colored marshmallow shapes that Lucky touted as ”Magically Delicious.” He was originally named L.C. Leprechaun and the voice actor was Arthur Anderson until around 1992.
Ogg From about 1967 to 1970, Kellogg's decided to use a goofy little red-haired caveman in their ads to promote Kellogg’s 'Cocoa Krispies' cereal. I think he also had a wife named Kell. (as in 'Kell-Ogg')
Tony the Tiger This likeable black-striped, orange, and white tiger became the cartoon mascot for Kellogg’s breakfast cereal ‘Frosted Flakes.’ He’s also advertised Tony’s 'Cinnamon Krunchers' and 'Tiger Power.' He was created in 1952 by the skilled graphic artist Sam Goldsmith. Although Tony was initially voiced by Dallas McKennon, he later was replaced by Thurl Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft voiced for the next 50 years until his death in 2005 with his wonderful familiar deep voice having Tony roar "They're Grrreat!" Later the mascot's son Tony Jr. and wife Mrs. Tony appeared to also promote Frosted Flakes.
Quake Quaker Oats cereal used this giant muscular, redhead hero with a big letter "Q" on his chest. He battled various villains, such as the menace Dr. Ah-Ah and the red/orange Dragon. Actor William Conrad voiced the character.
Postman Lovable Truly Post cereals used this redhead postman in the 1960s to early 1970s to deliver 'Post Alpha Bits' letters. He was voiced by Bob McFadden.
Sailor Boy In the early 1960s, Post's brown-sugar oat cereal 'Alpha Bits' used this redhead character for their ads.
Raisin Bran Fairies In the late 1950s, Post cereal used several fairies to gather raisins for their cereal 'Post Raisin Bran.' The girl fairy who coats the raisins with sugar has pretty red hair.
Kool-Aid Man This giant red/orange Kool-Aid ‘pitcher man’ with a finger-painted smiley face is the mascot for the popular beverage Kool-Aid. Previously called Pitcher Man and created in 1954 but later changed to current look. He’s also had several video games and a brief comic book series by Marvel Comics in the 1980s.
Woodsy the Owl This originally brown, now orange, owl is the well-known mascot for the USDA Forest Service to promote conservation of the environment. After the Woodsy Owl Act was passed in 1974, he became the property of the United States. His famous mottos include "Give a hoot – don’t pollute!" and "Lend a hand – Care for the Land!" His target audience is kids 5 to 8 years old to teach them to appreciate nature. The new orange/red Woodsy Owl was introduced in 2006. (The USDA website has more info on Woodsy at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/)
The Trix Boys These young boys appeared around 1960 when the Trix Rabbit showed up. One boy rides a unicycle with Trix breakfast cereal and the other redhead boy is trying to catch it in a bowl, doing 'tricks.'
Baron Von Redberry Appeared around 1972 to advertise General Mills’ berry-flavored oat cereal. He was a berry-colored WWI flying ace.
Joe Idea This General Mills redhead character first appeared in printed ads for Cheerioats cereal in 1944. By 1946 he appeared in ads on the renamed packages, no longer Cheerioats but now Cheerios.
The Go-Cart Kids and Dog General Mills 'Jets' cereal used this group that included a little redhead on boxes in the early 1960s.
Cheerios Kid General Mills used this red-haired youngster on their Cheerios cereal boxes from 1953 to 1973. He also appeared in ads with cartoon character Bullwinkle in the mid-1960s. Some of his slogans included – "The Big G stands for Goodness" and "Start feeling your Cheerios" and more…
Mr. Wonderfull A red-haired clown character used to promote General Mills 'Surprize' corn/rice puffed cereal that had a surprise filling in each puff. He wore a blue top hat, polka-dotted coat, and turtleneck shirt.
Kaboom Clown Another red-haired clown used by General Mills for their toasted oat cereal 'Kaboom' that included clown faces and marshmallow stars. His look changed a bit over the years during the 1970s.
Sugar Bear This wise-cracking red-furred bear promoted Post’s 'Sugar Crisp' cereal. In the ads he was constantly battling villain Granny Goodwitch, who tried to keep the cereal out of Sugar Bear’s hands.
Ice Cream Jones General Mills created this ice cream flavored cereal in the 1980s and used this redhead character. Wearing an old-time soda-fountain outfit and having his ice cream freezer mounted on the front of his bicycle, he pedaled his bike around to sell the cereal.
Crunchberry Beast ("C.B.") Quaker Oats used this colorful creature with orange spots and tufts of red hair who lived on from Crunchberry Island to promote their 'Cap’n Crunchie’s Crunch Berries' cereal in the mid-1960s.
Simon the Kangaroo This colorful kangaroo was created by Quaker Oats and voiced by Bill Scott during the early 1970s to promote their orange-flavored cereal.
Ronald McDonald Mascot for the fast-food restaurant giant, McDonald’s. He wears a colorful yellow, red and white costume and huge red shoes. His bright red hair appears in different ‘hairdo’ styles, depending upon country or time line. There are conflicting reports about who actually ‘created’ the colorful Ronald McDonald character and include Willard Scott as well as the team George Voorhis/Terry Teene. Nevertheless, this redheaded famous clown is known around the world!
The Hamburglar One of the 'McDonaldland' fantasy world characters. He's a red head hamburger thief who wore a red cape and gloves, big black hat, and black-and-white shirt/pants - usually muttering something like "burger, burger" or other child-like gibberish. Charlie Adler, Howard Morris, and Carl Wolfe have been credited with doing theThe Hamburglar voice over the years. The Hamburglar was apparently 'retired' and only used briefly after concern that he might be a negative influence on kids (a thief, stealing hamburgers).