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 Advertising Mascots - People

The Brawny Guy (Old)Brawny Lumberjack - Mascot for the Brawny® Paper Towels and Napkins products introduced in October 2, 1974. The handsome brown-eyed woodsman originally wore a red plaid shirt with the top button open. His hair was parted in the middle. Over his shoulder, he carried a wooden lever (or "peavey"), a hook like tools used by lumberjacks to roll logs into position. In a 1993 Christmas spot, the Brawny Man's peavey was replaced with a large candy cane.

Over the years, the Brawny lumberjack shirt has changed from red plaid, to green plaid, blue plaid, purple plaid, blue denim and then back to red plaid. His hair color has evolved as well from blond to brunette, from longer to shorter hair and from being parted in the middle to being combed to the side of his head (as of 1991). The Brawny Man's mustache was also removed in favor of the clean shaven look. His eyes changed from brown to green in 1984 and back to brown in 2003. The Brawny Man's peavey has also been phased out as of 1993.

Taglines for the product have been "The big, tough, towel" (1984), "Thirst Pockets for Spill Relief." (1993).

The Brawny Man - as of 2003
The New Brawny Guy
as of 2003

In 2002, the company held a "Do You Know a Brawny Man?"™ contest and some 4,000 women nominated a person they thought to be a real-life Brawny Man. Mario Cantacessi, a Los Angeles County firefighter won the contest and appeared on the packaging in 2003.

To capitalize on the softness of Brawny, a recent campaign had a man in the kitchen baking a cake for his wife and snuggling with a cute brown puppy as the announcer says.

"Mmmm, something's cooking at the Parker's. She'll like that [spills some cake batter]" What's this? [wipes up spill] Nothing Brawny can't handle. So strong. So soft. [Man carries cake and puppy to his wife]. Happy Birthday to you, Mrs. Parker. That's triple action performance. That's Brawny."

Using the same commercial, a later ad finds a husband and wife in bed watching TV. When the commercial comes on, the wife says "Why can't you be more like that Brawny man?". Shortly, the husband falls to sleep as the phrase "Why can't you be more like that Brawny man" echoes in his head. In his dream, the man finds himself in his kitchen and a few feet smaller. A large version of the sensitive guy in the TV commercial overshadows him. The man tries to fight him, but loses. Finally, the guy in the TV ad lifts the man onto a stool and lets him icing a cake. (as if saying, you too, can be like the Brawny Man, just show a little consideration for your wife and do something special for her, like bake a cake). Later, the man's wife awakes to find her sleepwalking husband in the bathroom squeezing out a tube of toothpaste into the sink as if he is decorating a cake.

Brawny Sensitive Guy

In 2003, a series of Brawny commercials created by Publicis Groupe's Fallon of New York portrayed various men as doting husbands who actually clean up after themselves...with Brawny towels, of course.

On the current Brawny website there is a section where you can interact with the Brawny Man who comes off as a soft-spoken sensitive guy who wants nothing more than to please you (akin to Renzo Cesana, the 1950s gigolo "The Continental"). Here's a sample:

"Sometimes, when I'm having a hard time, and I need to do something to make me feel better, I saw wood. Come saw some wood with me. Just relax your shoulders and let the saw do the work (a slow methodical back and forth sound of a saw softly cutting through wood is heard] That's it. Yeah. Feel better? I feel better to."

When National Public Radio reporter Brian Unger (The Unger Report) heard this spot he said "No actually, I feel dirty and no paper towel will make me feel clean, ever again."

TRIVIA NOTE: Like Mr. Clean, the Brawny Man on the package is an artist's rendition of a professional model. It first appeared in 1974. In 1991, Brawny was the first major manufacturer to introduce a line of 100% recycled, high quality, branded products. The Brawny character made a cameo in the movie Short Circuit wherein we see Brawny towels used as props (pillows) and a clip of Brawny’s 30-second television commercial "Cooking School."

In 2001, NASCAR racer Richard Petty (who earned a record 200 career victories and seven Winston Cup championships), replaced the Brawny Man for a short time. The company decided to use him as a mascot because he embodied the strength, toughness and reliability of Brawny paper towels. In on ad spot, Kyle and Richard Petty act like the Duke boys from THE DUKES OF HAZZARD TV series and race about a country road pursued by a local sheriff. See ad transcript below.

Lively banjo music plays as an orange car speeds past a parked police car. Startled, the officer spills his coffee and then pursues the speeding car. A voiceover that sounds like Waylon's Jennings speaks:


Uh Oh, looks like those Petty Boys are up to it again. Kicking up muddy rooster tails all over this county.
The Petty Boys pull off the road and hide as the officer drives by. Quickly, they wash off the road grime on their vehicle with rolls of Brawny towels.


Good thing for them they've got Brawny. Strong. Absorbent. Even soft to the touch. Yeah, doesn't miss a thing.
Officer returns. As the officer exits his police car, the Petty Boys conceal the Brawny towels behind their backs. Confused, the officer shakes his head and thinks "Guess, these weren't the guys I was chasing. Their car's too clean".


Huh! Same thing can't be said for that old officer. Man that versatile. That's Brawny.
Camera reveals the other side of car which the officer can't see. It's still muddy. Standing like two innocent lambs, the Petty Boys surreptitiously hold a couple  rolls of Brawny Towels behind their backs. Note: The NASCAR vehicle (No. 45) seen in the ad displayed the sponsorship logo of the Brawny brand

Monty Python 'Lumberjack' skit

Lumberjack Song
Monty Python's Flying Circus, Series 1, Show 6)

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

(A small chorus of Canadian
mounties now join in the singing.)

He's a lumberjack and he's OK,
He sleeps all night and works all day.

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch,
I go to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays I go shopping,
And have buttered scones for tea.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

He's a lumberjack and he's OK,
He sleeps all night and works all day.

He cuts down trees, eats his lunch,
Goes to the lavatory.
On Wednesdays he goes shopping,
And has buttered scones for tea.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

He's a lumberjack and he's OK,
He sleeps all night and works all day.

I cut down trees, I skip and jump,
I like to press wild flowers,
I put on women's clothing,
And hang around in bars..

He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps,
He likes to press wild flowers,
He put on women's clothing,
And hang around in bars?!.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

He's a lumberjack and he's OK,
He sleeps all night and works all day.

I cut down trees, I wear high heels,
Suspenders and a bra,
I wish I were a girlie,
Just like my dear papa.

He cuts down trees, he wears...high heels?
Suspenders...and a bra?
He wants to be a girlie,
Just like his dear papa????

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

He's a lumberjack and he's OKaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay,
He sleeps all night and works all day.

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