The Bizarre Stories Behind Your Favorite Brand Mascots

We were surprised to read yesterday that Domino’s is bringing back the Noid, a character who children of the ’80s will remember as the annoying villain with the red rabbit ears who was always trying to ruin their pizza. The news got us waxing nostalgic over other popular brand mascots from our childhood, and so we decided to do a little research on where a few of the most recognizable of these characters came from. Read on, and you may be shocked by some of the things we discovered about everyone from the California Raisins to the Energizer Bunny.

The California Raisins – The California Raisin Advisory Board

According to legend, these ’80s icons were born when frustrated adman Seth Werner of Foote, Cone & Belding, who had been hired by the California Raisin Advisory Board, said the following magical words: “We have tried everything but dancing raisins singing ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine.'” Bingo. The popularity of the ensuing TV commercials (which featured cameos by Ray Charles and Michael Jackson) led to four studio albums, a single on the Billboard Hot 100, an Emmy Award-winning Christmas special, and a Saturday morning cartoon series.