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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who is the greatest advertising icon ever?

Readers of Entertainment Weekly’s blog Pop Watch recently voted Flo the Progressive Insurance Gal the greatest advertising icon ever:

Though the Pillsbury Doughboy, Super Bowl ad favorites the Budweiser Clydesdales, and more did their darndest to stomp on her bumpit, they ultimately were no match for the overenthusiastic saleswoman. So it’s official: Picking up over 73 percent of the vote (the Pillsbury Doughboy finished with almost 27 percent), Flo rides to Big Shill victory on her white motorcycle.

Other ad icons who failed to make it through the bracket voting system to defeat Flo: The Noid, Grimace, Mr. Whipple, the Where’s the Beef Lady, Morris the Cat, Mikey the Life cereal kid, Colonel Sanders, and Mr. Clean. Which is ridiculous. Clearly, Morris the Cat is the great ad icon ever.
Now, seriously, who’s better here: Flo?

Or Morris?

Or maybe you think it’s some other oddly annoying but unforgettable anthropomorphized creature or pseudo human who deserves the crown. Who is the greatest advertising icon ever?

Obviously, Pop Watch’s contest was oriented toward American advertising. Are there ad icons in British advertising? My brief forays so far around commerical TV in the U.K. seems to be remarkable free of ad icons (if not free of advertising itself). I’d be curious to know what British readers think about this question… and how much American ad icons impinge on the British consciousness.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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