Times Square crawling with ad icons

King_2Although sometimes we take the advertising business seriously, as far as Advertising Week goes, we’re much more excited about the lowbrow events than in BBDO’s Andrew Robertson walking us through a Cingular case study. This, of course, means that AdFreak had to attend the Procession of the Great Icons this morning and take lots of pictures (scroll down to see more), to answer the following questions: Would any ad icon faint due to the heat? Would the King finally go on the record about his sexual orientation? How many freebies could we obtain personally? We got answers to most of our questions, and more. The icons withstood the heat bravely. Among the freebies we collected were a Meow Mix foam hat, a bag of Sun Chips, a copy of USA Today and a stuffed-animal Aflac duck. On the issue of the King’s sexuality, we are still in the dark. (Asked about it, he just smiled.) We were glad to see Advertising Week officials ask for a moment of silence for the late Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger. (It was respected, more or less.) As for the icon competition, the winner won’t be announced until tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on the Today show, though most of the finalists were on hand at the press conference. They included the Doublemint Twins (who really need an upgrade from those cheesy polyester outfits), the Energizer Bunny, the Geico Gecko and Juan Valdez. The other finalist(s), the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, weren’t able to attend. According to a Kaplan Thaler Group employee at the parade, they were barred from Manhattan because city officials rejected plans on how they would be housed. And you thought being an ad icon was all about sitting in the back of a convertible and waving, collecting royalties all the while.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor

Photos by Carly Tushingham

(click on images to enlarge)