McGruff the Crime Dog is an anthropomorphic cartoon bloodhound created by Saatchi & Saatchi through the Ad Council for the National Crime Prevention Council for use by American police in building crime awareness among children. He debuted in July 1980. The character was created by John Young. The motto “Take a Bite out of Crime” was invented by John M. Keil (born in Rochester, New York), who also did McGruff’s voice for many years. After two years on the air, a nationwide contest was opened to name the character. The most common entry was “Sherlock Bones”. Other entries included “J. Edgar Dog”, “Sarg-dog”, and “Keystone Kop Dog”. The winner, McGruff the Crime Dog, was submitted by a New Orleans police officer. In some of McGruff’s advertisements, he appears with his nephew “Scruff”.
McGruff reaches kids through commercials, songs and booklets from the National Crime Prevention Council, talking about drugs, bullying, safety and the importance of staying in school. Recently, McGruff has appeared in commercials addressing identity theft. The character is often used with his motto “Take a bite out of crime!” He also reaches kids through personal appearances as both puppets (often used in classrooms) and costumes worn by police officers nationwide. In a 1990 commercial, Ralph Edwards appeared to honor McGruff’s 10th anniversary with a This Is Your Life themed ad.
In 2005, a new identity theft warning campaign was launched in honor of his 25th birthday. Click here to watch one of those ads »
If you loved the Ninja Turtles, then you had this guy. Who was your favorite Turtle?
The Wizard is a 1989 adventure dramedy film starring Fred Savage, Luke Edwards, and Jenny Lewis. The film follows three children as they travel to California so the youngest, who has a condition that makes him emotionally withdrawn, can compete in a video game tournament. The Wizard is infamous for its numerous references to video games and accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System and has been called a feature length commercial. The film was also well known for being North America’s introduction to what would become one of the best-selling video games of all time, Super Mario Bros. 3. Click here to watch the trailer »
Introduced in 1991, Soda-Licious fruit snacks came in the shapes of bottles and mugs! They came in 8 flavors: Root Beer, Cream Soda, Orange, Cherry, Cherry Cola, Cola, Lemon-lime, and Grape. There was even a Cool Spot promo for awhile that featured 7-Up and Cherry 7-Up flavors. Click here to watch a commercial »
Pooch Patrol were stuffed dogs in which their lips and eyebrows could be adjusted. Click here to watch a commercial »
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