By Heather Taylor
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it comes a big day filled with turkey and stuffing, family, friends, parades and a football game (or two), and pumpkin pie to cap off the evening. But what if I told you that this year we’re inviting not one, or two, but 20 brand mascots to the feast? The more the merrier, after all — and we’re thankful to have a group of familiar faces who know all about delicious eats joining us.
Pull up some extra chairs, break out the spare oven mitts, and make some room for side dishes. The ad industry’s best and brightest are sharing with us which brand mascots they’d like to invite to Thanksgiving dinner and the rooms in the house you can expect to find this motley crew hanging out.
Guests en route to the feast…
Who’s that ringing the doorbell as the first guest to arrive? Why, it’s none other than Charlie the Tuna, carrying with him a classic tuna casserole as the perfect alTUNAtive substitute to turkey. Charlie makes an outstanding dinner guest, according to the team at Gatesman+Dave. He’s stylish in his festive red beret and glasses and is fresh off his Presidential campaign trail, ready to provide great conversation about his experience and plans for the future — all in good taste, of course.
Ho ho ho! The next voice at the door is a booming one that can only belong to the Green Giant. Karen Seiger, Editor of the food blog Markets of New York, invited him along to dinner because he’s bringing a tasty covered dish — broccoli cheese casserole! The Green Giant is accompanied by his pint-size buddy, Little Green Sprout, whom we’ll see later in the evening again…
Fashionably late, but debonair as can be, Mr. Peanut arrives bringing along party nuts as his appetizer of choice. Michael Lewis, Marketing Assistant at Active Web Group, notes that the cosmopolitan Mr. Peanut no doubt has plenty of interesting stories to regale those wining and dining at the feast.
On kitchen prep detail…
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a basket of fresh, hot rolls and where there are crescent rolls, the Pillsbury Doughboy can’t be far behind. Since Poppin’ Fresh has his own float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, JP Faiella, Chief Executive Officer at Image Unlimited Communications, Ltd. advises everyone to set their timers since the Doughboy might be running late. When he finally gets here, expect plenty of infectious giggling at all of your jokes, according to the Writer’s Room at Brownstein Group.
Assisting the Doughboy is none other than the queen of home-cooked goodness herself, Betty Crocker. Betty’s a no-brainer pick for Megan Zale, Senior Copywriter at Moncur, who is excited to see Betty flex her culinary prowess in whipping up the most magical, comforting, delicious meal of the year.
Misty Bell Stiers, Creative Director at Isobar, is also ready for a hearty conversation to go with prepping the stuffing and sweet potatoes. “Who better to help me finish off the perfect golden turkey while we chat about current women’s issues and historical perspectives?”
Speaking of extra help, where’s Lefty AKA the Helping Hand at Hamburger Helper? Oh, you’ll be seeing him soon enough. Now let’s get all of these yummy dishes out to the table — it’s almost time for turkey and to make a toast!
Wait, who’s giving the Thanksgiving toast?
With a name like Bibendum (which literally translates to “now is the time to drink” in Latin, according to Cory Schearer, Creative Director at Ferebee Lane + Co), the Michelin Man is here to say cheers. “His classic toast may be in Latin, but a dinner like this could use a dose of class from a seasoned toastmaster.” Says Alex Gonzalez, Senior Designer at Omelet. Chin chin!
Speaking of the holiday spirit(s), no toast would be complete without a few libation mascots both of the throwback and current variety. The team at Y&R cordially invite Bert and Harry from Piels Beer to be our dinner guests while Kelsey Nelson, Senior Content Manager at Ferebee Lane + Co, would like Captain Morgan to play bartender at her apple cider bar. “If he could help pump this bar up and make sure the family forever stays just a little tipsy, it would go far for my first time playing hostess.”
‘Round the dinner table…
Dig in, everyone! The first mascot to compliment every dish with plenty of gratitude is Tony the Tiger. The Writer’s Room at Brownstein Group is sure that every dish will be “Gr-r-reat!” from the cranberry sauce to the yams.
Guess who’s carving the turkey? It’s Allstate’s Mayhem — and he promises to keep the bird in good hands to make up for some of his antics from earlier in the evening. “I would just love to see all of the mayhem he could insight from the moment he arrived in the driveway, through dinner, and during the Lions game. DISCLAIMER: This dinner would have to take place at someone else’s home.” Says Brian Arndt, Creative Director and Producer at Paradise Advertising.
As far as the seating arrangements go, Gonzalez wants to get introductions underway between the Land O’Lakes Indian Maiden and The Brawny Man.
Meanwhile, we’ve got the most talked about mascot at the table: the newest Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World. Marty Senn, Chief Creative Officer at Carmichael Lynch, plans to invite the latest incarnation with a twist. “… An hour later and with every chair taken, I’d arrange for the old Most Interesting Man to arrive.”
Page Smith, Lead Developer at Happy Medium, predicts that getting the old and new mascots together in the room means endless storytelling opportunities — and unexpected adventures. “You'd start by eating a nice turkey and by the next morning you'd end up on a private jet to a field in Milan to watch an ostrich race!”
At its core, Thanksgiving is about gratitude and counting your blessings. And we know a few brand mascots, most notably Snoopy at MetLife, have been laid off in the past year. Kevin Nguyen, Social Strategist at Epic Signal, is pulling up a couple of chairs for any mascot out of work. “I want them at my dinner because I want to console them and let them know things will get better. They will find another job in due time and we can at least enjoy the holidays in the presence of friends.”
The mascots spotted at the kids’ table…
Remember the Little Green Sprout who arrived with the Green Giant earlier tonight? He’s at the kids’ table, encouraging everyone to eat their vegetables. The Writer’s Room at Brownstein Group has also entrapped the Trix Rabbit there too… Just to see what would happen.
Hey, did someone say clean up duty?
Who else but Mr. Clean could tackle kitchen duty better to help clean up the dishes? For Alison Monaghan, Communications Director at Happy Medium, he’s the real MVP of the day. “Anyone who has ever prepared Thanksgiving for their family should think of Mr. Clean first and foremost for an invite.”
With his good nature and the help of the mascots bringing over their baking supplies and dishes, Mr. Clean takes it all in stride to get silverware sparkling clean. Now that the day is winding down, he’ll be putting his feet up to relax with treats just like the rest of us…
Post feast dessert, drinks, and entertainment…
Time to slip into a food coma with baked goods and coffee! Ernie Keebler and the Keebler elves have been hard at work making decadent cookies for everyone to enjoy. (Even though Josh Lane, Partner and Director of Account Strategy at Ferebee Lane + Co is dying to get an invite to the treehouse that they call headquarters.) Balancing out the sweets is coffee from Juan Valdez — a must, says Rob Soltan, Senior Copywriter at Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide.
Remember when I mentioned that Lefty was MIA in the kitchen earlier? That’s because he’s on after dinner DJ duty. Tabitha Jamerson, Social Media Strategist at Happy Medium, nominated him for the gig after checking out his fire mix via Twitter. Time to cut loose to an ad industry approved remix of “We Are Family” — I got all my brand mascots and me! Happy Thanksgiving!