Sure, food mascots can be annoying. (“Chuck E. Cheese” encouraging kids to cut loose while wearing so much skateboard safety equipment that even your mom thought he should live a little.) And they can definitely be creepy. (“The Burger King” and his dead-eyed stare as he slowly approaches you, sometimes through your window.) But it takes a certain type of mascot to not only make its own food unappealing but also make the very idea of ever eating again impossible.
What are “spongmonkeys”? Well, they would appear to be what happens when you crossbreed a batter-fried gerbil with a loofah sponge. Then repeatedly punched out its teeth. And then yanked the eyes right out of Steve Buscemi’s head at the very moment the actor realized the true horror of your actions. After that, adding adorable hats and a guitar seemed like an afterthought since people were thinking less about subs and more about if Quiznos had put out enough traps to catch these things before they got into the sandwich toppings.
Slim Jim Guy
Basically daring people to eat the equivalent of an escaped mental patient on the manic upswing of his psychosis, each “Slim Jim Guy” commercial followed their human beef jerky as he plopped inside someone’s stomach. There he would battle with stomach acid, beat up other food, perhaps worry about imminent defecation, and claw at your intestinal lining before shouting his slogan “Eat me!” at which point view viewers were punching their own stomachs in the hopes of killing whatever little people were inside them.
Del Taco’s The Beast
Imagine if “Teen Wolf” had dropped out of high school, hit the bong and costume jewelry hard, and was played by the winner of the “Paul Giamatti Look-a like” contest. You’d have a mascot Del Taco wanted you to equate with your raging appetite but instead served as a warning of what happens if you travel in time from the 1970’s only to have your DNA accidentally mix with a partially shaved gorilla.
What’s the best way to promote a tamarind and chili-flavored lollipop? The good people of Palerindas clearly decided it’s with a mascot that illustrates what their treat will resemble once it works its way through your colon and out your rectum. (As you can see, the commercial jingle practically writes itself). Add to that the image of the very jolly fecal matter pointing to its own bum with anticipation and you quickly get the idea the ad campaign is a never-ending cycle of personal waste management that usually requires at least 40 bowls of bran to accomplish.
The Original Ronald McDonald
Before he started appearing alongside little kids on playgrounds or in their homes without adult supervision, “Ronald McDonald” was really high-octane nightmare fuel. Wearing a costume that seems hastily put together after waking up drunk in the dumpster behind the restaurant and a grin that says “The Joker fell face-first into the fry vat,” this original version of the clown bears little resemblance to the one families now know and have restraining orders against and more like if Pennywise from Stephen King’s “It” had to get a job after school.
Le Cochon Prodigue Pig
Advertising has a long history of animals practically pleading with consumers to either eat them or their fellow creatures, perhaps due to suicidal tendencies or simply wanting to get rid of annoying roommates. But this vintage poster for Le Cochon Prodigue sausage takes it to an absolutely horrifying level as a pig happily slices himself up in what could only be a scene from “Babe” if directed by Rob Zombie. Perhaps it harkens back to a time when people had so little regard for animals that they would show a chicken shoving a rod up its own butt to advertise kebabs. Or perhaps a time when ad campaigns were assigned to the most disturbed person in the office. Whatever the reason, this might very well be the most unappealing mascot you will see until a horse walks viewers through the process of how meatballs are made for Ikea.
Which food mascot do you find the least appealing? Let us know in the comments!