Some of the best-loved ad images of the 20th century have names like Tony, Betty and Ronald. Others, like the Marlboro Man, may not be as beloved, but grew to have tremendous worldwide impact as an instant identifier of Philip Morris Co.'s Marlboro cigarettes.
From frozen vegetables to packaged cake mix, from fast food to automobile tires, these carefully drawn characters are the personifications of businesses that began small but grew to become dominant brands in their fields -- thanks in large part to their famous icons.
Many of the most famous ad icons were the brainchild of one agency: Chicago-based Leo Burnett Co., which specialized in building brands through the use of enormously popular characters, including the most effective icon of all time, the Marlboro Man.The complete list:
The Marlboro Man - Marlboro cigarettes
Ronald McDonald - McDonald's restaurants
The Green Giant - Green Giant vegetables
Betty Crocker - Betty Crocker food products
The Energizer Bunny - Eveready Energizer batteries
The Pillsbury Doughboy - Assorted Pillsbury foods
Aunt Jemima - Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrup
The Michelin Man - Michelin tires
Tony the Tiger - Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes
Elsie - Borden dairy products