Kelloggs has announced that rather than give its most famous brand icon a free bus pass it will instead give Tony the Tiger a full makeover for his 60th birthday.
Famous for his ‘They’re Gr-r-r-eat!’ catchphrase Tony first emerged in a series of sketches commissioned by ad agency Leo Burnett.
Now celebrity designer Philip Armstrong has been tasked with drawing up a new neckerchief now sporting animal print shades of purple and red alongside a paw print which fans will be able to buy for a limited period.
It is sixty years since the cartoon mascot assumed the role as official ‘spokestiger’ for Frosties back in 1952 when Manchester based Kelloggs ran a competition to pick a new mascot.
Consumer historian Robert Opie, from the Museum of Brands, said: “Undoubtedly, Tony the Tiger is one of the best known brand icons of all time. To still be around after 60 years is no mean feat, there aren’t many advertising mascots who have stood the test of time through several generations. What’s his secret? Like one of the only other long standing brand icons - the Jolly Green Giant – he’s familiar, consistent and fun with a distinctive loud voice.”
The Drum will interview Tony next Tuesday over Twitter as part of his birthday celebrations via the #happybirthdaytony hashtag.
Top ten facts about Tony the Tiger
1/ He began to be humanized in the 1970s when he was given an Italian American identity
2/ Tony has had a family through the years–Mama Tony, wife Mrs Tony, a son Tony Jnr, and a daughter Antoinnette – all of whom have now retired from the limelight
3/ He was enshrined in the Advertising Walk of Fame, in New York, in 2004
4/ He graced the front cover of Italian GQ in 1974
5/ In Mexico he is called Tigre Tono
6/ The current voice of Tony in the UK is Tom Clarke-Hill
7/ In 1958 he appeared on Frosties packs with Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound
8/ Frosties are made in Manchester where a huge statue of Tony graces the front of the factory in Trafford Park
9/ One of the most famous ad campaigns for Frosties talked about “Tony’s Secret Recipe”
10/ Former Northern Ireland football player, Spurs and Arsenal player Pat Jennings OBE starred in a Frosties advert with Tony in 1974.