Spuds MacKenzie

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Spuds MacKenzie in an ad

Spuds MacKenzie was a fictional dog character created for use in an advertising campaign marketing Bud Light beer in the late 1980s. The Spuds MacKenzie mascot and campaign were created by Anheuser-Busch marketing executive Mitch Meyers.[1][2] The dog first showed up in a Bud Light Super Bowl XXI ad in 1987.[3] During the height of his popularity, large amounts of Spuds merchandise was available, such as plush toys and t-shirts.

The dog, a Bull Terrier, existed not without his share of controversy. Shortly after Spuds' rise to fame it was learned that the dog, who was portrayed as male in the commercials, was actually female.[4] The ads were also the subject of attacks and calls for censorship by temperance-oriented groups. Soon after the ads were first aired in 1987, Senator Strom Thurmond began his own media campaign, claiming that the beer maker was using Spuds to appeal to children for the purpose of getting them interested in their product at an early age.[5] By Christmas 1987, more legal action resulted from Budweiser's use of ads featuring Spuds dressed as Santa, which is illegal in states such as Ohio.[6]

In 1989, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alleged that Anheuser-Busch was pitching the dog to children. Although the Federal Trade Commission found no evidence to support that allegation, Anheuser-Busch decided to retire Spuds in 1989, partly because they felt the character's image had started to overshadow the product.

The dog's real name was Honey Tree Evil Eye (October 7, 1983 – May 31, 1993). She was from Malvern, PA. She died of kidney failure in North Riverside, Illinois.[7]

Cultural references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.siue.edu/business/alumni/meyers.shtml
  2. ^ Southern Illinois University School Of Business
  3. ^ "Spuds McKenzie: Official Party Animal". Bull Terrier Club of Dallas. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  4. ^ Eric Zorn (1987-09-13). "Eric Zorn. Spuds Is A Dud As A Party Guy -he`s A Girl. Chicago Tribune. (Posted: September 13, 1987)". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2012-10-29. 
  5. ^ "Teetotaler Thurmond Raps Spuds McKenzie". Associated Press. 13 November 1987. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Spuds Can't Promote Beer Dressed as Santa". Associated Press. 2 December 1987. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Grave of Honey Tree Evil Eye". Find A Grave. 
  8. ^ Rabin, Nathan. "Sir Mix-A-Lot Interview". AV Club. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "GorillaVid – Just watch it!". Gorillavid.in. Retrieved 2012-10-29. 

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