Animals are often used in advertising. Examples of very successful campaigns built around cute animals have yielded such creations as the Geico gecko, a bull terrier with a left-eye covered by a Target symbol, and the long-used Energizer Bunny. Perhaps the earliest use of an animal to promote a product was a lion. Leo hyped MGM movies and has been around since 1916. Another popular and long-running animal used to advertise is some horses. The Clydesdale breed pulling a delivery wagon has represented Budweiser since 1933. You can’t be from St. Louis without being influenced by them because they often represent a way to get some free beer. Below are 3 of my lesser known favorites that bring back travel memories. The 4th has become controversial and is not, in my opinion, destined to last.
When Ruth I drove The Great Ocean Road in Australia with some Down Under friends, we saw Larry the Lobster above. This big lobster is used in the town of Kingston to promote a seafood restaurant. Kingston is in South Australia and Larry is a hoot. He’s 55.77 feet tall, unmissable, and has become a major tourist attraction.
My favorite US animal used to promote a product is Mrs. Pearl, a giant squirrel. East of Austin, TX a statue of Mrs. Pearl entertains and entices travelers at the Berdoll Pecan Candy and Gift Company on Highway 71 in Cedar Creek. She is hoping that you will buy a pecan pie from a vending machine she stands near. The pies are a bit pricey but good, so few can resist the temptation to splurge. Ruth and I shared our pie with 2 friends in Washington who loved it.
Another animal huckster asks for tips in the bar and emporium in Luckenbach, TX. He is an armadillo. I do not know if he has been named.
The controversial animal used in advertising is an emu. I don’t know why Texas and Australia are associated with such critters, but some say that the ad campaign using an emu demeans this bird by making fun of it. This emu is in commercials with a not-too-bright man named Doug. I don’t believe that these ads will fail because of the treatment of the animal so much as their failure to identify the product. Quick. What company do Doug and the emu represent? If you said, “Liberty Mutual Insurance” you’re right but probably watch too much TV.