Friday, 11 September 2020

Monocle Men

Monocle Men were never short of employment opportunities in the Universe of Brand Characters. Their association with good breeding and their foppish tendencies made them ideal product ambassadors. Rea Irvin’s creation for the New Yorker, Eustace Tilley, epitomised the air of effortless superiority that a monocle confers. The updated Tilley from 2018 was drawn by Malika Favre. Heinz, of soup and ketchup fame, chose a monocled tomato (known as Mr. Aristocrat) to spearhead their advertising campaigns in the 1930s.  Often deployed in multiple, the top hats were conventional class signifiers but the rubicund features sent out a very mixed message suggestive of short temper and irritability - not the qualities looked for in a brand mascot. The breezy monocled bonhomie of the Striding Man in red frock coat and polished black boots has been around since 1909, embodying the virtues of Johnnie Walker whisky to the present day.  Mr. Brandyman does the same job for Martell with a brandy glass for a head - hand drawn in cartoon form, his raffish demeanour is amplified by the cigar or cigarette that’s never far from his lips.  In 1919 Sharps Toffee introduced Sir Kreemy Knut (biography here) who, with bow tie, briefcase and swagger stick, launched his campaign to ruin the nation’s dental health with caramelised sugar.  A final mention for Mr. Peanut whose contribution to monocled marketing has been featured extensively on this blog, most recently here in 2012.


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