MBC gives Chicago ad icons their night of recognition

The first-ever exhibition of Chicago-conceived advertising icons to be honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications will remind the public that many of the great moments (and 30-seconds) in radio and television originated in Chicago.

So says MBC founder/president Bruce DuMont as he enthusiastically describes the Museum’s inaugural ”Salute to Advertising’s Greatest Icons” awards presentation on May 8 and exhibit running May 9 to Oct. 31  

As part of the “Salute” exhibit, seven national advertisers will receive awards for their contributions to the advertising industry in the form of “a beautifully minted medal,” says DuMont, for 10 enduring product icons created by Chicago agencies dating back to the dawn of radio in 1935.

Leo Burnett Co., celebrating its 70th anniversary of consecutive business, created nine of the enduring icons and Foote, Cone & Belding the tenth.

The Leo Burnett creations being honored are General Mills’ Pillsbury Doughboy and Jolly Green Giant; Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger (Frosted Flakes); Snap, Crackle & Pop (Rice Krispies) and the Keebler Elves (Keebler); McDonald’s Ronald McDonald; Procter & Gamble’s Mr. Clean; 9 Lives’ Morris the Cat and StarKist’s Charlie the Tuna.

From FCB: S.C. Johnson’s Raid Bugs.

The idea for the advertising salute came from agency owner Jarrett Mason, chairman of the Museum’s advertising council, which chose the characters being honored. 

“We wanted all the honorees to be from Chicago because we want to remind people of the contributions that Chicago has made to television and radio,” says DuMont who founded the MBC in 1983.

“We wrote to the heads of the all the companies we chose and they said they were delighted to be included.  Proceeds from the awards presentation will support advertising and educational programs,” he adds. “We have thousands of commercial waiting for us to do something with, and this is definitely the start.”

Each advertising character will be showcased its own “special week” throughout the exhibition, featuring character appearances, look-a-like contests, tastings, Face book photo opportunities and other special consumer promotions.

The VIP Exhibition Opening Reception takes place Friday, May 8 at 5:30-7 p.m. in the Museum’s new Paul M. Lisnek Gallery. Tickets, $150 for the reception and awards presentation, $75 for the presentation only, may be purchased here

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