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Madison Avenue Walk of Fame

September 13, 2011

Imagine developing an advertising platform and brand that generates revenue, increases brand equity and withstands the test of time. Now imagine that your brand has been added to the New York Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. What more could you ask for?

Walk of Fame

The Madison Avenue Walk of Fame is where the most influential brand message and icons are celebrated for their “courage, bravery and thick skin on the campaign trail in the face of tough competition,” according to On Madison Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets, you’ll find this Walk of Fame where ad giants from the past are commemorated for eternity, immortalized on plaques and banners aligning the sidewalk.
The competition has always been stiff. Previous winners include:

• 2004 – “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” from M&M’s and “Can you hear me now?” from Verizon were the Slogan Winners. The Aflac Duck along with Tony the Tiger were among the Icon Winners.

• 2005 – “Imagination at work” from GE and “When you care enough to send the very best” from Hallmark were the Slogan Winners. The Geico Gecko was among the Icon Winners

• 2006 – “Don’t mess with Texas” from the State of Texas Department of Transportation was among the Slogan Winners. The Kool-Aid Mascot was among the Icon Winners.

The list goes on to include the cows from Chick-Fila, the cavemen from Geico and the sheep from Serta Mattresses. All of these brand icons and messages continue to be a force to be reckoned with today.

This year’s contestants include Flo from Progressive (one of my personal favorites), the Jolly Green Giant and the Old Spice gentleman. Only two will take the top prize and have their brand forever immortalized on Madison Avenue.

What Does it Take To Win?

This year all voting will be done through social media sites such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, so the demographic will be slightly skewed. How do you think it will affect overall results? Which brand icons do you think resonate with the social media crowd? Let’s look at the demographics.

• Facebook’s top demographic is women between the ages of 25-34 and 45-54 that make an annual average salary of between $25,000 and $49,999.

• Twitter’s top demographic is women between the ages of 35-44 with an annual average salary of between $25,000 and $49,999.

• Youtube’s top demographic is women between the ages of 25-44 who make an annual average salary of between $25,000 and $49,999.

The Irony

According to, “it’s particularly ironic that Madison Avenue is turning to the very digital world that had enabled consumers to tune out ad messages.” Today’s technologically savvy crowd turns to Hulu and online resources to watch television, many times advertising free. If they do watch TV shows the traditional way, many choose to DVR the episodes strictly so they can fast-forward through advertising.

Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield said “How do we all know Flo? It’s because she’s on TV every three seconds, and we can’t get out the DVR fast enough to fast-forward past her.” It will be interesting to see if Flo from Progressive, who is in literally every commercial spot, will beat out the Old Spice guy, who has a huge internet following with Old Spice’s imaginative integrated marketing, or the old classics like Smokey Bear.