I love billboards and advertisements in foreign languages. I think there is a lot of language that can be learned just by observing the posters and signs around you. But even if not, there is always fun to be had learning about foreign mascots.
Squeeze is a sickeningly sweet, Tang-like powdered beverage that you’re sure to be served if you visit a Syrian friend during the summertime. I have no problem with their product – it’s their advertising campaign that disturbs me. This is their “mascot:”
Yes, a mustachioed, smarmy Egyptian dressed in Hawaiian style is the face of Squeeze in the Arab world. I was more inclined to buy Squeeze before I saw this billboard and its accompanying TV commercials.
Speaking of smarmy, here is my all-time favorite Arab mascot. It’s Uncle Chips!
I think the question here is not so much “would you buy chips with this guy’s image stamped on the package,” but “would you allow this man to be in the same room as your kids,” don’t you think?
The best part is that in Jordan, there is a brand called Mr. Chips. And the mascot Mr. Chips, by all appearances, is a law-abiding, well-dressed, upstanding member of the community. Why his slimy brother can’t keep his act together (or at least shave off the dirt ‘stache) is beyond me.
The last mascot I’ll show you is another snack brand (in case you haven’t noticed already, the Arabs take their snacks very seriously). Here’s another chip mascot, Mr. Corn:
I don’t know what it is about Mr. Corn that I find so amusing. Maybe it’s the apparent lack of inspiration involved in its design, or perhaps its childish rendering. In any case, he looks like he’s way overdue for a makeover.