Where are the ad mascots’ campaign ads?

In the runup to Advertising Week, online voting has now begun to elect two brand icons for enshrinement on the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. (There’s a parallel election for favorite ad slogans.) The Week’s site jokes, “You’ve watched the debates, heard the campaign promises, and weighed the issues—oh, wait, that’s a different election.” In fact, though, one can’t help feeling that the brand-icon election would be more exciting if it did include political-style campaign ads, particularly of the negative variety. Wouldn’t you like to see the Keebler Elves denouncing Mr. Goodwrench as a mere technocrat and the Maytag repairman as a do-nothing layabout? Or hear Morris the Cat archly dismissing the Doublemint Twins and the Crash Test Dummies as Tweedle-Dees and Tweedle-Dums? (“I’m Morris, and I approved this message.”) Meanwhile, a competent oppo-research team could no doubt dig up some dirt on Snap, Crackle and/or Pop. Despite voters’ prim claims to the contrary, negative ads are the ones they respond to most strongly in real elections. Surely an ad-icon election should be at least as entertaining as the governmental variety.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver