Five Strange Mascots I Could Live Without

May 27, 2011

The recent attempt by a corporate watchdog group to force Ronald McDonald into retirement really got me thinking.

The group, Corporate Accountability International, is calling for the clown’s retirement due to his role in marketing unhealthy foods to children. (If you think I’m going to get into that, ha!)

When I learned that the same watchdog group was behind the successful effort to retire Joe Camel, I started daydreaming of other strange mascots that should be retired.

Here’s my list of mascots I could live without. These opinions are my own and I mean no disrespect. Let’s get started:

Oski
University of California Golden Bears
I don’t care if it’s tradition, this bear is very creepy for some reason. Maybe that reason is because he wears jeans and khakis. Regardless, this chino-wearing-mascot deserves an update if not a total overhaul.

Oski

Oski

Big Al
University of Alabama Crimson Tide
This is one of those situations where the name obviously came first, without any thought to potential mascots. The result? An elephant… I’m sorry, but the getup is just not working. On merchandise, Big Al looks like a star. On the field his limp trunk looks terrible.

Big Al

Big Al

Brutus Buckeye
Ohio State University Buckeyes
First of all, am I the only one who didn’t know that the buckeye is the official state tree of Ohio? And that the mascot is supposed to be a nut from a buckeye? Just add a rugby-striped t-shirt, some red pants and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. The more I learn, the more strange it is. I have a feeling when the football team isn’t so amazing, the crowd will look around and suddenly realize there’s a nut among them.

Brutus Buckeye

Brutus Buckeye

Jack Box
Jack in the Box
Jack Box is the offbeat mascot of restaurant chain Jack in the Box. In 1980, Jack in the Box tried to establish a more mature image by discontinuing the use of Jack and even aired a series of ads announcing “we’re blowing up clowns!” In 1994, after a food contamination crisis they brought him back. One bad decision lead to another.

Jack Box

Jack Box

Michelin Man
Michelin
(Alex was looking over my shoulder and had some feelings she’d like to share….Guest Contributor Alex Weaver)
Ghost Busters was a favorite of mine growing up, along with the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. He was comedic genius to my 4-year-old self. However, the glass was shattered when I saw the Michelin Man. I fail to see how a large fluffy white cartoon man can represent a tire company. That image itself only brings to mind marshmallows! So please, retire the Michelin Man and let Stay Puft have his day in the sun because, in the words of Mike Keliher, “Stay Puft could totally kick Michelin Man’s butt.”

Michelin Man

Michelin Man

Thoughts? What mascot would you like to see retire?