Jani Leinonen’s latest project Tony is Back! has angered multinational food manufacturer Kellogg’s.
Two weeks ago Leinonen anonymously launched his campaign releasing a series of commercial-like videos of Kellogg’s character Tony the Tiger navigating a grown-up world of prostitution, police violence and suicide bombers. Just as in the commercials shown widely on television 30 years ago, the Tony is Back! campaign shows the animated cereal icon helping people solve their problems with a bowl of Frosted Flakes.
Kellogg’s was not happy with the unauthorised use of their brand’s advertising mascot and shut down the campaign’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites in just 12 hours.
A kellogg’s spokesperson responded to Huffington Post in an email: “As a company grounded in the values of integrity and respect, we recognize people’s right to creative expression,” but. “… Tony is a beloved icon and we will protect the integrity of our brands and our characters.” – Huffington Post
The Tony is Back! videos has already reached over 2 million views on Youtube and can still bee seen here or at the campaigns official website www.tonyisback.com.
Leinonen says the videos are only the beginning of something much bigger. His next project is a movie called The Mascots – a documentary film about corporate mascots – starring Tony the Tiger.
“We are looking for people who have worked as mascots for global firms in the past. A few have already signed on and they’ve had some entertaining stories to tell about the companies in question and their ways of operating,” he says.
The film will be realized through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding and is estimated to be ready in 2016.
Read the press release for the the Tony is Back! campaign:
Press release: The man behind Tony is Back! campaign comes clean!