Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hooky, Nestlé's discontinued ice cream mascot

Last week I was in a supermarket in Mexico and spotted a cartoon yeti depiction on an ice cream freezer box. I didn't have my camera on me, figuring I could easily google the guy later and see what he was all about. Sadly, there isn't much online that I could find. Wish I'd snapped a pic while I had the chance. This must be what it feels like to glimpse the real yeti out in the wild. He is elusive as always.

The above is the only image of the character I could find. Let me know if you have others - I'll post them.

In my researches, I discovered this yeti's name was apparently "Hooky". I say "was' because he is no more. The company Nestlé created him to help sell specific ice cream treats... to just Mexico... and only, apparently, during the year 2007. Weird! Was the advertising campaign a total bomb or something?

After that, they took down Hooky's website (which I can't view in the Wayback Machine because it was all flash-based) and now appear to disavow all knowledge that he ever existed. His site just redirects to the general Mexico Nestlé site.

It is a conspiracy! Hooky is alive! And out there still!

The only mention I could find about Hooky and his ice cream were in Mexican marketing news sites (here and here), each discussing the advertising campaign itself when it initially started.

Translating from the Spanish, I learned that Hooky was trying to get kids excited about rather bizarre-sounding ice cream treats:

(Begin Bad Translation): "Makanazo is an ice cream flavor stuffed cake of jelly and congealed strawberry, and Loko Finger offers, besides the traditional flavor of lemon, the flavor watermelon, combined together with a very innovating form to eat it: on a little stick with a trowel that turns." (End Bad Translation)

Maybe that was why the whole thing was canned after only one year - no kid actually wanted to eat the things. I also learned that such ice cream monstrosities live alongside Hooky the boy-yeti in a land called "The Great Blue Freezer".

What is the popularity of yeti among the children of Mexico, does anyone know? Could he have been a poor choice of mascot to endorse the ice cream?

Now I wish I'd looked in the freezer box at the supermarket. Would there have been a "Loko Finger" in there still, with its innovating form of eating? Perhaps a wrapper with Hooky's visage to take through customs on the way home? I so lost my chance at being the first ever cryptogastronomist.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Yeti Friday - An SUV that just came out

One of my heroes Loren Coleman has put up a post on his excellent Cryptomundo blog about the new Škoda Yeti, an automobile of the "Mini SUV" variety. It is not a yeti, nor is it a Friday, but the marketing of the vehicle is definitely attempting to bring the people's love of His Himalayan Highness to the forefront... and inspire people to buy their product using yeti as a hook.

They are really pushing the yeti association. Here's part of the press release:

"People have never tired of talking about that mythical creature who, with his white fur coat and sharp teeth, lives high up in icy mountains. Although they have never met him, people still speak with great conviction of their encounter with that peaceful inhabitant of the dizzying heights, who is said to have shown many a lost soul the route from the regions of eternal ice to the safety of the valley below. At Škoda Auto we are celebrating a new member of our model range, which has been given the name of that helpful snowman: The Škoda Yeti is launched. The choice of name truly has a deeper significance. The Škoda Yeti is strong, geared to move under difficult conditions and help its passengers along where others give up. But it has the edge on the original Yeti: Unlike him, it is also happy in warmer areas, finding its way not just in difficult terrain and off road, but with equal confidence and assurance on the road."

They also hire a bunch of people to dress in white-furred yeti disguises at events.

(Waifish model aside, the costume and stuffed animal are actually pretty decent yeti depictions and worthy of their own legitimate not Not-Yeti post.)

Look at the car company's promotional web site which contains this blurb:

"Perhaps everyone would like to see Yeti. This snowman has something mystical in him, which directly calls for discovery… just like the new design study of the Škoda Yeti."

They are really laying it on thick, attempting to associate their consumers' raging yeti love (and the rising popularity of cryptozoological curiosity) with their product. Kinda weird, if you want my opinion.

I personally just want to stick to yeti that are actually yeti.

Not cars.

This is definitely a sign that the yeti is approaching the apex in popularity and awareness in the popular culture. Not too long ago, the average person didn't know what yeti was. Now the advertisers are actually naming cars after them SO THAT YOU WILL BUY THEM.

Conan showcases Yetisburg on the Tonight Show

See my previous posts about Yetisburg here and also again here.

I like how Conan doesn't even need to make a joke about it. It just is.

Big shout out to my man J.T. with the scoop!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Land of the Lost yeti

Since Land of the Lost is a movie in the theaters, perhaps it would be a good time to post about the yeti which was depicted in the original tv show.

The synopsis of the 1976 episode I found is an entertaining read.

The native Sleestaks call the club-wielding yeti the "Tapa". Although quite angry and raging, he is easily distracted by cake, and then later by gentle dancing and torch twirling. But unlike most yeti in Popular Culture, he doesn't stay placated and friendly. As soon as that cake is gone or the twirling has stopped, he's launched back into a homicidal rage. It's not like he secretly harbors an innocent, loving soul. I like that about him.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Not Yeti Friday - Gossamer

I recently blogged about a red yeti and it reminded me of perhaps the most famous red yeti-ish character in the popular culture:

Gossamer from Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes cartoons.

Artist Billy Zinser has a nice post with Gossamer imagery on his own blog. His Macrodon sculptures could almost have their own "Not Yeti" post themselves.

Invizimal... not yeti?

There's going to be this crazy game where you look through your gameboy screen or whatever and see the real world... only there will be like crazy fake monsters jumping around in the real world... and the game acts like they are actually there... Check out the video:

The reason I bring it up is 'cause it looks like maybe one of the crazy invizimal monsters is a yeti:

What do you think? We may be seeing little yeti's roaming around our living room floors soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saving or Eating?

Is a T-shirt design

Judging by the seal's expression, would you say the seal expects to be saved by the yeti? Or does the yeti just want the seal for himself as a mid-morning snack?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mukku the Yeti

Mukku is a red yeti from a popular Japanese kids show called Hirake! Ponkiki. He hangs out with a little dinosaur boy named Gachapin.

At first I thought, well, he's not a yeti, but he apparently really is. Yes, even though he's red, with a propeller on his head, and creepy white hands.

According to his bio:

"Since he was born in an icy atmosphere, Mukku is unable to endure warm weather. The propeller on his head rotates when he needs to cool his body-helping him to relax."

He's so popular, they make all kinds of merchandise for him: pez dispensers, plush dolls, t-shirts, you name it.

pez stolen from here.

We've had green yeti, why not red?

I for one welcome our new propeller-headed crimson-haired snowmen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coleman Company, Inc. Yeti

Coleman Company, Inc. is an American company that specializes in outdoor recreation products. Historically, Coleman is known for camping gear. Strangely enough, they sell a yeti plush. Wha?

Check it out. It's called:

Prehistoric Pet Toy Abominable Snowman Model No. 2000001632

Only $19.95. I encourage all companies to produce a yeti plush for under $20.

Thanks, Coleman Company, Inc.!

You can purchase one here!

Mystery Cyborg Yeti

I don't know where this is from. You probably don't know either.

But hey, maybe I'll get lucky. Post it in the comments if ya know.