By Margaret Bristol
Sometimes big brands think outside the box when it comes to picking a face for their product. Sure, models and actors are great, but often companies turn to the animal kingdom to find the perfect fit. Whether it's a CGI lizard or a real-life lion, these brands' pitchmen speak to the animal lover in all of us.
©MGM / Courtesy of Everett CollectionLeo, the MGM Lion
Since the Hollywood studio was formed back in the 1920s, they have counted on the king of the jungle to stand by their logo. Lovingly known as Leo, the current lion had no less than four other big cat predecessors. Leo has the shortest mane of all the other lions and can boast that his roar appears on the most films.
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It's hard to look at a white duck without hearing the familiar "Aflac" quack. Formerly voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried (who got the ax after he tweeted a distasteful joke following the 2011 tsunami in Japan), the company held a public contest to find the new voice of their famous duck. Enter Daniel McKeague, a sales manager who was hired later that year.
This is known for being finicky about his food. But Morris has evolved over the years, and lent his voice to help educate pet owners about animal health, adoption and rescue. In fact, all three cats who have played Morris in commercials were rescued.
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At the turn of the millennium, auto insurance brand Geico decided to play on the common mispronunciation of their name in a national ad campaign. Since then, it hardly seems like a commercial break goes by without the appearance of the CGI Geico Gecko, known for his tongue-in-cheek pitches and charming (if hard to place) accent.
This fast food eatery known for their chicken sandwiches went to the farm for their mascot. Though the cows they chose have horrible spelling, the "Eat Mor Chikin" billboards exposed the brand to millions of people.
Smokey the Bear
Since 1944, Smokey the Bear has been performing his eco-friendly duty to help save our trees. His slogan, "Only you can prevent forest fires," has since become iconic, as has Smokey himself, through advertisements and merchandising like stuffed animals.
Tony the Tiger®
Without Tony, how would we know that Frosted Flakes are "grrrreat"? Tony has received a few makeovers since his first appearance in 1951, but he's still going strong as the spokesanimal for this popular Kellogg's breakfast cereal.
In 1986, Chester, an animated cheetah, started to appear in commercials for Cheetos. He has since been reconceived as a CGI character and, in recent ads geared toward adults, a furry puppet.
The Coca-Cola Company
Coca-Cola Polar Bears
The Coca-Cola polar bear commercials, often featured during the winter months and the Super Bowl, feature the adorable CGI creatures. The beverage company has also to raise money to protect the Arctic environment that polar bears call home.
Who did we forget? Tell us in the comments below.
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