The Re-Branding of America: Charlie Tuna at the Family Reunion – Priceless

The Mastercard ‘Icons’ commercial is contemporary classic.

I watch it and I feel like a kid again, like a homecoming. All those familiar faces: Count Chocula, Charlie Tuna, the Morton’s Salt Girl, Mr. Clean … It’s like consumer kitchen. I remember when we would all gather ’round the dinner table on Sundays. How I loved those home-cooked meals. Poppin’ crescent rolls fresh from the oven, green beans hand-picked by Mr. Green — Jolly, and the Chef’s authentic Boyardee family recipe for the main course. Mascots aren’t just familiar faces anymore — they’re familial.

Mastercard has to sell credit cards — in this economy. In a country where most people want to find a house, Mastercard is branding what most people need and are really looking for: a home.

Everyone wants to be at the table with those mascots. They practically raised us. When I was a kid, I had a TV in the kitchen — it told me what I should put in the pantry to be like everyone else. Mastercard is taking America back to Sunday dinners, when consumption was good; but moving America forward to a time where you don’t even have to be at the table — it’s called progress.


  1. What’s funny is looking this up to figure out that was Count Chocula because I just couldn’t place a dinner entree with a count. I come to find this was done in 2005. My sources were both Wiki and Adjab. That’s what’s surprising it’s 2009 and 4 years later I finally catch up to commercial life. ha ha… Unfortunately for me I am behind on TV because I work most nights. I’m glad they reused it. I got to catch up on a little Americana.

  2. See there, that makes two of us. I thought the commercial was brand new too. I found it hard to comment on The Count … dessert maybe haha. Great snapshot of Americana.

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