Be it for a music company, sport club, commercial ad, educational institute, movie production house… canines are presented as popular mascots all over the world. Here picked up some of the popular dog mascots which every one of us sees now and then in our day-to-day life.
Who else in India doesn’t hum the ‘You & I’ ad jingle of Hutch mobile service (now Vodafone)? The ad features a Pug following a boy in unlikely locations like bathroom, hair-cutting salon, school while promoting a tagline ‘Wherever you go, our network follows.’ In 2003, when telecom companies were in full competition to tap the growing market opportunities in India, Hutch used the popular ‘You & I’ (Pug & boy) campaign to disseminate a message on the robust network of their service available in every nook and corner. The Pug and boy appeared first on television followed by billboards, newspapers, bus shelters and both became instant celebrities all over India.
Cheeka was the name of the Pug who originally hailed from the UK and pet parented by a Goan couple Vishal and Lisa Bandekar. It is said that the popularity and demand of Pugs in India has been multiplied after the successful Hutch campaign created by the Mumbai-based ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. Of course, not be ignored, the boy was Jayaram, an eight-year-old who had already acted in four other commercial ads earlier.
Yet another dog we all must have seen as popular as Cheeka will surely be Nipper. Do you know which breed? He is the Terrier who serves as the mascot of HMV. HMV stands for His Master’s Voice and the company’s brand mascot Nipper listening to a windup gramophone was created by English artist Francis Barraud, which was finally used by Gramophone Company in 1899 simply as silhouette or other forms. Nipper, born in 1884 at Bristol in England, was given his name because of his funny nature of biting on the backs of visitors’ legs.
Nipper used to live with his original pet parent Mark Henry Barraud, a theatre scenery designer. After Mark’s death, Francis adopted the Terrier. Nipper died in 1895 and buried in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees on Clarence Street. As time progressed the area has been built upon and a branch of Lloyds Bank now occupies the site. But on the wall of the bank at the entrance is still a brass plaque commemorating the HMV Terrier who still lies beneath the building.
Many sports leagues and clubs all over the world are known for using canine mascots to portray their agility and game spirit. Harvey the Hound is the mascot of American and Canadian National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames. Introduced in 1983, Harvey also gained his fame as second mascot of Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. On the other side, the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona made Cobi the official mascot. The name ‘Cobi’ was derived from COOB, expanding Barcelona Olympic Organising Committee. Before and during the Olympics, many sponsor companies such as Coca-Cola, Brother Industries and Danone used Cobi in a spectrum of promotional ads. Even Cobi had his own popular TV series titled The Cobi Troupe.
Further in the Olympic circle, Waldi was the first official mascot created for the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. He was a Dachshund designed by the popular German designer Otl Aicher who is known for designing the logo of Lufthansa airline. In fact, Otl designed Waldi based on a real long-haired Dachshund named Cherie von Birkenhof. In addition to all these direct involvement of real dogs, fictional canine characters are also equally engrossed as popular sporting mascots. The official mascot of the American National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs is called KC Wolf who was first introduced in 1989 as a successor of Warpaint, the popular horse ridden Red Indian chief. Spytty the Dog is yet another fictional official dog mascot of Newport County Association Football Club. His name is derived from a popular play aired on British’s children television show.
Because of the furry buddy’s tenacity in nature, various professional sports teams, schools, military institutes and other organisations all across the globe use Bulldogs as their mascots. Some of the popular Bulldog mascots of some popular regional sport clubs include Capalaba Bulldogs (Brisbane Premier League Division 1); Central District Bulldogs (South Australian National Football League) Sid – Western Bulldogs (Australian Football League); Alberni Valley Bulldogs (British Columbia Hockey League); Antigonish Bulldogs (Maritime Junior A Hockey League); Toby Tyke – Barnsley FC (Football League Championship), among others.
Pooch mascots don’t miss their way into the university campuses around. University of Connecticut has its mascot in the name of Jonathan the Husky. All of the university’s Huskies are named Jonathan in honour of Jonathan Trumbull, the first governor of the state. Jonathan mascots are of two types – costumed and canine versions. The first real canine version Husky mascot was a brown and white Husky until 2013 before it was officially changed to one with black and white. Jonathan XIV, a black and white male Husky introduced on 29th January 2014, is the newest Jonathan of the University of Connecticut. Jonathan is one of the few university mascots in the US to have been selected by students via a popular poll conducted in 1933 and Jonathan I was designated as the university’s mascot on 23rd July 1934.
Other popular dog mascots and their colleges and universities in the US include Bruiser (Adrian College); Jerry (Arkansas Tech University); Bully (Barton College); Butch (Bowie State University); Ironclad Tupper (Bryant University); Spike (Drake University); Brutus (Ferris State University); Champ (University of Minnesota Duluth); Rocky (University of North Carolina at Asheville); Tarzan (University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez), so on the list continues.