We all know Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders, and Wendy but there were some fast food mascots that didn't have the same staying power as their juggernaut brethren. Between ill-conceived marketing campaigns, annoying characters, and general crummy-ness, these mascots just didn't have the general appeal as creepy clowns, finger-lickin' war heroes, or waaay delicious jail bait. Let's take a gander:
McDonald's - Mac Tonight: In 1986, McDonald's tried to give the food-shaped citizens of McDonaldland a break and attempted to appeal to adults eating late at night. The result was Mac Tonight, a piano-playing lounge singer in a tux, stereotypical 80's sunglasses, and a mammoth crescent moon for a head.
What McDonald's didn't realize, however, was their late night target market was stonners and hookers, not jazzy socialites. Inexplicably, the ads ran until 1997 until he and his enormous noggin were retired. Good riddance. I'd take Ronald's "special needs" pal Grimace over Mac Tonight any day of the week.
Domino's Pizza - The Noid: In the 80's, the red rabbit-eared and dastardly Noid was on a mission to ruin Domino's pizzas but was time and again thwarted.
He also ran with a slogan, "Avoid the Noid." Cuz he was anNOYing. Heh. As mind-bogglingly brilliant as that catch phrase was, his annoyance factor was off the scales. He soon got too big for his britches and even released a video game for the NES. At that point, he crossed a line and people turned on him.
Ironically enough, for someone who's mission was to ruin Domino's pizzas, it's not like he really had his work cut out for him. Have you had that shit lately? It's like a hobo regurgitated imitation meat on a piece cardboard.
Tim Horton's - That Timbit... Thing: As a patriotic hats off, the Canadian coffee giant, Tim Horton's, placed this lil' guy on all their boxes. He's basically three Timbits of unknown flavor stacked on top of each other. And I think the top two are his eyes. I guess.
He never said anything, never appeared in any commercials... honestly, I have no clue what his deal is. Since he's a product of the 80's and 90's, I can extrapolate that he was probably a lone wolf with a dark past who played by his own rules. Maybe he's proficient in knives or ninja stars or something too. That'd be rad. In any case, he faded into obscurity with no one even noticing or missed him.
Quizo's Subs - The Quizno's Rat: Imagine the Taco Bell chihuahua mating with a mutant, retarded gerbil, throw on a top hat and kaplowza, you've got the Quizno's Rat.
He and his guitar-playing hillbilly partner would sing about Quiznos... kinda. The songs rarely made any sense and people would often have no idea what was even being advertised. It fell into that Ren & Stimpy-esque weird-for-the-sake-of-weird category but it flew over most folks' heads. B'bye rat thing.
Carl's Jr. - Paris Hilton: Although an overnight sensation, Carl's Jr.'s ads depicting Paris Hilton straddling a Bentley and "eating" their new Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger was more a masturbatory fantasy than any kind of fast food commercial.
Also damning of this ad, aside from featuring the most reviled "celebrity" of the past decade, was consumers linking the burger with Ms. Hilton's STDs. Conjuring imagery of cold sores and gonorrhea while chomping on a burger just isn't appetizing.
And there you have it. Ya have to hand it to those ever-diligent advertising monkeys to try something new but these stinkers should never have made it past the drawing board. And certainly not staring at me from a posterboard behind a greasy teenage punk asking if I want fries with that.