It should probably have come as no surprise that there is an Advertising Walk of Fame on Madison Avenue in New York, but we were unaware until this morning. That was when we received a press release from Anheuser-Busch informing us of the induction of the Clydesdales.
The induction ceremony took place yesterday, September 21, as part of the kickoff of Advertising Week. We were unaware of this festival as well (to us, it sounds more like a great excuse to spend a week hunkered down watching Mad Men), but it has apparently been going on since 2004.
Henceforth, should you find yourself in New York, you can show your hometown pride by visiting the spanking-new bronze Clydesdales plaque and lamppost banner on Madison Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Our horsies join the august company of Colonel Sanders, Tony the Tiger, Juan Valdez and the AFLAC Duck and the less-august company of this year's other inductee, the AOL Running Man.
The Running Man? WTF?
Unlike the St. Louis Walk of Fame, which has a selection committee, the Advertising Walk of Fame is a democracy of sorts: People get to vote for their favorite inductees and Advertising Age magazine and USA Today tabulate the results. This year, three million votes were cast. The two inductees in the slogan division are "Virginia is for Lovers" and "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."
Losers include the California Raisins, Mr. Clean, the Keebler Elves, the Maytag Repairman, "All the news that's fit to print," Captain Morgan, Smokey the Bear and "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires"and, astonishingly, "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs" and Jared, of Subway infamy.
So not only is the AOL Running Man presumed to be the equal of the Clydesdales, he's considered superior to Smokey the Bear?
Anyway. The Clydesdales have been part of A-B since 1933, when August Busch, Jr., known as Gussie, presented them to his father, August A. Busch, Sr., to celebrate the end of Prohibition. For their debut, the horses clomped down Pestalozzi Street pulling a beer wagon containing the first case of alcholic beer the brewery had produced in thirteen years.
They made their television debut in 1967, accompanied by their Dalmatian sidekick and a really annoying jingle:
A-B has no immediate plans to celebrate the Clydesdales' elevation to advertising immortality.
"It came up really quickly," explains Pier Scott of A-B's communications office. "We didn't have time to plan anything. If there's anything you have in mind, let us know."