MetLife Drops Snoopy: Other TV Characters Used And Dropped For Marketing Over The Years

Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, has been the mascot spokesdog for MetLife for 30 years, but as of late October, the poor pooch has been given the boot.

“We have a lot of affection for Snoopy,” said MetLife’s Chief Marketing Officer Ester Lee.

“He’s rated very high as a good friend and on approachability. Where he didn’t rate as high is things like, as a leader, keeps promises, is a good adviser.”

Snoopy gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame
Snoopy got his star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood November 2, 2015. [Image by Richard Shotwell]

While Snoopy’s firing may come as a shock to some, Snoopy hasn’t always been Charlie Brown’s “man’s best friend.” So, now MetLife is going with a new tagline, “MetLife. Navigating life together” and Snoopy is out of a job, reports HR Daily Advisor. The news comes while numerous Peanuts holiday TV specials are being aired and a year after The updated Peanuts movie was released in theaters. So while the pup is currently turning in resumes, he will no doubt have any trouble finding a new gig. In fact, Snoopy has been sharing screen time with his Peanuts pals in a few commercials for All laundry detergent. He isn’t the only TV character to have made money doing endorsements, and he won’t be the last.

The Pink Panther has been doing business with Owen Corning for about 36 years. The company used the feline friend and his color to distinguish its insulation products from other brands, which has kept the company “in the pink” for a long time. Today, the Pink Panther is being used to market all types of products for the company. Before Owen Corning, the feline was used to market Safeco insurance in the in the 1970’s and 1980’s and before that, he used to hook breakfast cereal for Post.

Then they are The Flintstones who have been the brand mascots for Post’s Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles cereal since 1971. The stone age clan have also been selling the use of their likeness to sell Flintstones chewable vitamins since 1968. According to Mental Floss, while both Barney and Bam-Bam have had vitamins shaped after them, Betty Rubble has never had a vitamin. More bizarre though was that Hanna-Barbera would allow the use of Fred and Barney characters to sell Winston cigarettes, a sponsor for the family show when it first aired on television in the 1960’s. Of course, back then, they didn’t know the hazards of smoking like we do now and in 1986, Fred and Barney did a PSA ad for the American Cancer Association, reports AdAge. Wilma also appeared in a shampoo commercial for Dove in 2005 complaining that her hair was “stuck in the Stone Age.” On the other end of the spectrum, The Jetson Family were featured in TV commercials and newspaper ads for Electrasol Dishwasher Detergent ads in 2012. (Wasn’t that Rosie’s job?)

Morris the Cat was famously known for appearing in a commercial for 9 Lives wet cat food, but when the company decided to give dry food a try in 1982, they turned to Warner Bros.’ Sylvester the cat for help. The marketing didn’t last long, though. Other Looney Tunes characters have been used for other products as well including Foghorn Leghorn promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken(!) and the Roadrunner and Coyote for Meguiar’s “fast finish” car wax.

In 1966 during the Batman TV show’s height of popularity, Adam West donned the cowl and cape to promote war bonds and marketed the commercial specifically to children to help invest in the war for Vietnam. Two or three years later, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl appeared in commercials to promote the Equal Pay Act which was intended to end discrimination between men and women. In the commercial, Batgirl complains to Batman saying, “I’ve worked for you a long time, and I’m paid less than Robin! Same job, same employer means equal pay for men and women!”

So while Snoopy is looking for more work, he can at least take solace that he had 30 happy years with MetLife.

[Featured Image by Jim R. Bounds/AP Images]