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Marketing Mascots October 3, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Humor.
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These stacked wooden crates of oranges and sweet potatoes caught my eye at Cracker County.

The crates of oranges from Wauchula look inviting ~ I’d buy them even if I couldn’t (1) pronounce Wauchula (derived from the Miccosoukee Indian word Wa-tu-la-ha-kee, meaning “call of the sand hill crane”), or (2) locate the town on a map.

In fact, Wauchula claimed its place on the map as the location of the notorious Baby Swap which took place at Hardee Memorial Hospital in 1978, when  babies Arlena Twigg and Kimberly Mays were switched and sent home with the wrong parents.  On purpose.

The event, documented in the book The Baby Swap Conspiracy by Loretta Schwartz-Nobel, featured in the 1991 made-for-TV movie Switched at Birth.

Even knowing all that . . . I would still buy oranges from Wauchula.

In contrast, a possum is NOT the marketing mascot I would choose for sweet taters . . . no matter their originating locale.

The same holds true for opossums . . . which are not as cute as possums.

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I would rather not see rodents, reptiles, or marsupials in close proximity to my foodstuffs.

Or any of my stuff.  Ever.

Even if they are stuffed.  Or playing possum:

When threatened or harmed, opossums will “play possum,” mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. When “playing possum,” the animal’s lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, the eyes close or half-close, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. 

Wikipedia ~ Opossum (in Public Domain)

 This physiological response is involuntary (like fainting), rather than a conscious act.  Their stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away without reaction.

The animal will typically regain consciousness after a period of between 40 minutes and 4 hours, a process which begins with slight twitchings of the ears. [Source:  Wikipedia, Opossum]

Now, I don’t know much about marketing and advertising, but nothing about that description screams “FOOD MASCOT” to me.

Wikipedia ~ Tony the Tiger (in Public Domain)

Perhaps possums should stick to “playing possum” and leave the bailiwick of “food marketing mascot” to such notable celebrities as:

Tony the Tiger ~ They’re G~R~E~A~T!

Keebler Elves ~ Uncommonly Good

Budweiser Frogs ~ Bud~Weis~Er

Chester Cheetah ~ It Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy

Aah . . . that’s better!

TucanWhat say you?  Any favorite marketing mascots?  The Clydesdale horses? The Lucky Charms Leprechaun (“magically delicious”)?  The Fruit Loops Toucan?

What about Ronald McDonald and the Hamburgler?  Or Mayor McCheese?

Please don’t say Burger King’s King ~ that enormous Mardi Gras head with its leering grin is C~R~E~E~P~Y.

For a FUN poem about, in part, possums playing dead ~ The Really Awful Reality of Illusion (Colonialist)