The Decade’s Best Advertising Icons?

OK, so we all had our share of those “year in review” stories that dominated the headlines a few weeks ago.  But as studied advertising professionals, we couldn’t resist this list of the top 10 advertising icons from the previous decade.  Like ’em or hate ’em, you have to admire the power of an effective icon to get your brand noticed.

According to AdAge, the most influential ad icons from the past 10 years included the following icons.

The Decade's Best Advertising Icons

Travelocity:  the Roaming Gnome.
Everyone knows the traveling gnome.  As a “spokesperson” for Travelocity, the gnome has had travel adventures in commercials, on the web, and even in popular TV series like Amazing Race.

Geico:  Cavemen.
The easily-offended Geico cavemen actually ventured beyond TV advertising to having their own TV sitcom.  A bad sitcom.  But nonetheless, it’s hard to get more iconic than that.  (Close runner-up:  the Geico Gecko.)

Old Spice:  The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.
Probably the most viral videos of the year, and tons of awards for the agency that created it.  Unless you were living under a rock, you couldn’t miss Isaiah Mustafa and his towel.  Now that’s a popular culture icon.

Apple:  Mac and PC
One of advertising’s most recognizable duos, and my personal favorite on the list.  The Mac and PC characters helped put Microsoft on the defensive, and made Apple even more of a household name.

The Decade's Best Advertising Icons

Dos Equis:  The Most Interesting Man in the World
Now this guy is truly an icon.  According to those very well-crafted radio and TV spots, his “charm is so contagious that vaccines have been created for it” and “his personality is so magnetic that he’s unable to carry credit cards.”  Makes me want to order a XX next time I’m out every time I hear it.

Burger King:  The King
Maybe the creepiest icon on this list, but definitely one that has gotten BK noticed, and remembered, by it’s key young male demographic.  We’ll admit it, we considered going to a Halloween party as The King last year.

E-Trade:  Talking Babies
So talking babies have been done.  A lot.  But the E-Trade kid actually pulls off a personality that grows on you over time, and makes you like the company behind him.  An impressive accomplishment, especially in today’s anti-banker atmosphere.

See more advertising icons in the original AdAge story, or add your comment below to complete the list…

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