45th Street in Times Square was lined with Angry Birds, a cowboy-hatted Twinkie, a bespectacled tuna, a pickle stork, Jared, and a giant elf as Advertising Week 2013 kicked off with the Walk of Fame Icon Parade.
The parade, led by Mini Coopers filled with Smokey the Bear, French’s Mustard, Kool Aid Man, a Charmin Bear and others and followed by a double decker tour bus filled with more icons, wound down Broadway to 42nd, then over to famed Madison Avenue, past gawking tourists snapping pictures and waving to these furry mascots of the advertising industry. Upon stopping at 437 Madison Avenue, the icons walked clumsily and slowly towards a tent, the red M&M tripping on the curb towards his photo op.
It was all a good bit of fun, and of course there was a purpose.
“We are back where it all began,” said Matt Scheckner, Executive Director of Advertising Week, surrounded by icons like the Crash Test Dummies, the Travelocity Gnome, Jared Fogle from Subway, and the Vlassic Pickle Stork.
Scheckner was referring to the first Icon Parade and the first Advertising Week, which kicked off 10 years ago at that very spot.
Scheckner said that the Icon Parade was there to “make us smile…we’re all smiling.”
He then announced the winners of this year’s Walk of Fame.
StubHub’s Ticket Oak and Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World joined such luminaries as Allstate’s Mayhem and the Coca-Cola Bears.
In the slogan category, Nike’s hyper-famous “Just Do It” and Sony Playstation’s “Live in Your World, Play in Ours,” took the honors.
“Nike’s slogan, ‘Just Do It’ is now in the advertising walk of fame, which means they’re finally a legitimate company,” joked Scheckner.
It was all over too soon, save for some choice photo ops with Mr. Mucus and Charlie Tuna. But the frivolity made for an upbeat opening to Advertising Week’s 10th Anniversary.