Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Favorite Fictional Character --- Charlie the Tuna

I think it's almost impossible to predict which commercial characters, will stay in the collective memory of a population.  I can't even begin to imagine the graveyard that would need to be constructed to lay to rest, all of the failed commercial mascots.  Sure, some of you may remember Big Yella or The Noid, but do any of you really remember Waldo the Wizard or Frito Bandito?  Mascots fail for multiple reasons, and I'd quickly bet that the vast majority of them do in fact fail.  Even when they prove to be successful, Spuds MacKenzie, how many of them really last over a long period of time, let alone decades.

Charlie the Tuna, the mascot for Star-Kist, is one of those mascots that seems to be impossible to kill off.  Yeah, his hipster ways seemed to disappear for a while, but he's been back for a while now, and it doesn't look like he is going anywhere soon.  I'm actually a bit surprised that our current crop of hipsters haven't taken to him more.  After all, he was a hipster before most of them were a twinkle in their parent's eyes.  Between the glasses, the hat, the scarf that comes and goes, the way he talks, and his absolute conviction that he a most refined taste; it all screams hipster.  I'm actually rather shocked that today's hipsters haven't adopted the name Charlie.

Of course poor Charlie, no matter how well attuned his own personal taste is, Star-Kist keeps rejecting him. It doesn't matter if you have a keen eye for style, if you don't taste good, you don't taste good.  The country got so used to poor Charlie being rejected, that Star-Kist's response to him, became a regular part of our conversations.  "Sorry, Charlie", is part of our cultural heritage, and something quite a few of us still say to this day.

Charlie already been retired once before, so I won't be surprised if the poor guy is put out to pasture again.  What would surprise me though, is if Star-Kist were to leave him in a nursing home, never to be heard from again.  When a company has a winning mascot, that doesn't offend anyone's sensibilities, it seems rather dumb to not keep him around.  So here's to hoping that Star-Kist keeps rejecting him, and never accepts his application to be canned.  It also helps that I can't stand canned tuna.


JaneGS said...

I've always loved Charlie too, though the logic of feeling depressed over not being good enough to be eaten has always escaped me.

I am too literal for most advertising.

I used to caution my kids (tongue in cheek, of course) that if a cartoon character (such as the Jolly Green Giant) ever materialized in the kitchen, to not engage in conversation, get outta there, and seek help!

Angela's Anxious Life said...

I love this guy. He is hipster. I didn't even think about that! I've always had Chicken of the Sea tuna fish so I am used to going in the store and looking for the mermaid.

Anonymous said...

StarKist is the best. I have found that it is consistently the highest quality and I absolutely love the StarKist Tuna Creations flavored pouches!

Anonymous said...

I'm originally from New York and a Bumble Bee consumer. I have switched to StarKist as their product is superior.

Anonymous said...

I love Charlie, but his voice is screwed up in the commercials. He sounds like Andrew Dice Clay