We are all aware of the value of adding a mascot to a product when you are trying to sell it. Think of the value for this with kid’s cereals: Count Chocula, Cap’n Crunch, Tony the Tiger…those guys are forever imprinted in our minds from lazy Saturday mornings watching cartoons in front of the television. And of course if you didn’t want to pay some advertising firm to create some sort of mascot for you, you could always borrow one from the comic strips page, like Dennis the Menace, who shilled Dilly Bars for Dairy Queen, or the Peanuts gang, who endorsed Zingers (although I never knew anyone who actually ate one.)
But then there’s Andy Capp’s Hot Fries, an association which I find a bit puzzling. Who decided that a lazy, drunk Englishman would be a good face for their product, much less a strip that very few people read? I’m not even sure that Andy Capp appears in that many papers anymore.
I suspect that the company that produces Hot Fries was faced with a small advertising budget and, unable to secure Garfield or Family Circus or Ziggy, was stuck with Capp. There certainly could have been other interesting possibilities from second tier strips, such as Herman, Cathy, or Mark Trail. But Andy Capp it is.
L:ike any junk food, Andy Capp’s Hot Fries have a small but loyal Quisp-like following, perhaps enhanced by the fact that they are somewhat difficult to locate unless you live in a small town where a Speedway is the only place where you can buy groceries. You can order them from amazon, but many people complained that when they received them all the bags were passed their expiration date. I’m not sure why this would make any difference with these things, which are clearly not made from too many natural ingredients. Not to mention that eating more than half a bag requires a steel intestinal fortitude that not many people have unless you have spent months in a prison camp overseas.