From Sketch Cartoon to Brand Mascot: How Fido Dido Became the Face of 7UP

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This summer, 7UP enthusiasts in India will be heading “Back to Cool” with the soft drink’s new campaign made specifically with nostalgia in mind.

Ad agency Coup Creative will be heading the ultimate throwback by bringing back six old school designs and featuring them on 7UP packaging, including ‘90s fan favorite Fido Dido.

Before the laidback icon was a mascot for 7UP, he was a cartoon illustration. Created by Joanna Ferrone and Sue Rose, Fido Dido was doodled by Rose on a cocktail napkin in 1985. Then and now, he had a triangular face, two dots for eyes, and a few squiggly lines for hair.

Ferrone, who thought up the character’s name on her way to work the next day, decided that Fido Dido was meant to have wisdom beyond his years. In an era of cultural shifts, Fido Dido was ageless, thoughtful, chill, and compassionate towards one and all. The Fido Dido philosophy, as Ferrone put it in a later interview, is that “You are what you are and what you are is okay.”

His look caught the attention of Patricia Field, a costume designer and stylist who famously dressed the four leading ladies in the TV series “Sex and the City.” Once Field started printing images of the illustration on her t-shirts, Fido Dido fever took off.

PepsiCo (now the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group) approached Ferrone in 1988 about using the image of Fido Dido as 7UP’s mascot. The signed contract was initially just for five years, but due to the respect that the brand showed for the character, Ferrone continued the relationship together.

Since then, Fido Dido has been featured in 7UP ad campaigns throughout the world including commercials airing in Australia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, and India. Despite his global fame, Fido Dido remains unfazed by celebrity. He still dresses in his t-shirt, long shorts, and sneakers, and remains just as cool and relaxed now as he was back in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Heather Taylor

Icon Researcher & Blogger at Advertising Week
Heather Taylor

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