Gorton Fisherman - The nautical mascot for the Gorton's seafood company
based in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Their company slogan reads: "Trust the
Gorton Fisherman." Since the 1990s, actor Denny Miller has portrayed the
Gorton's Fisherman in a series of print and TV advertisement. The Fisherman
always wears a traditional yellow rain slicker complete with hat and galoshes.
Gorton's actually changed the Fisherman's appearance on their product logo to
resemble Denny Miller (as mentioned in his 2004 autobiography Didn't You Used
To Be What's His Name?).
The origins of the Gorton's company trace back to Slade Gorton (born 1832) who
worked for Annisquam Cotton mill. However, when his place of employment burned
down on December 9, 1883, Gorton turned to fishing for salt Cod and Mackerel as
a past time. However, at one point, his second wife, Margaret Ann announced.
"You have been without work long enough. Now we are in the fish business."
Using money, which she had saved from managing a boarding house, Margaret Ann
rented a fish house in Rockport, Massachusetts, purchased a fishing boat and put
her husband to work. When Slade died in the 1890s, his sons, Nathaniel and Tommy
took over the operation of the company. In 1898, an enterprising co-worker at
the fishing plant named Thomas J. Carroll was made a junior partner of the
A few years later on Friday March 31, 1906, the executive officers of Slade
Gorton & Co. joined forces with John Pew & Son, David B. Smith & Co. and Reed &
Gamage to form the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Co. Gorton-Pew then became Gorton's of
Gloucester in 1954, and in 1965, the company officially became The Gorton
Actor Denny Miller portrays Gorton's Mascot
Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Gorton's developed the industry's first
linear fish block cutter and first automated batter mixer. In 2001, Unilever PLC
sold Gorton's to Japan's Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd, one of the worlds' largest
seafood businesses. In 2003, Gorton's introduced seafood mail-order "overnight"
The Gorton's brand in the U.S. (and the BlueWater brand in Canada) markets high
quality, frozen seafood such as "Grilled Fillets", "Shrimp Bowls" and "Tenders",
along with traditional Fish Sticks and Fish Fillets.
TRIVIA NOTE: Like many corporate mascots, like as the Eveready Bunny and the
Pillsbury Dough Boy, the Gorton Fisherman has earned a few pop culture kudos
over the years.
For instance, the "trust" factor in the Gorton's slogan was strained a bit with
the introduction of a new cult killer in the teenage slasher films I Know What
Your Did Last Summer (1997) and sequel I Still Know What you Did Last A Summer
(1998). Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, the movies featured a killer who wore a
yellow “Gorton fisherman" rain slicker and carried and a large menacing hook.
Now there's a guy you definitely don't want to trust.
On the January 8, 1998 installment of LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, the number
five spot on the "Top Ten Surprises in 'Titanic'" read: "Number 5. Graphic love
scene between Kate Winslet and the Gorton Fisherman."
MasterCard "Advertising mascots at dinner" Commercial
On Sunday, February 6, 2005, the Gorton's Fisherman appeared in a Super Bowl
XXXIX commercials for MasterCard Debt Card. The ad featured a dinner table
surrounded by a group of advertising icons, namely Mr. Peanut, Chef Boyardee,
Count Chocula, The Pillsbury, Doughboy, Charlie the Tuna, The Jolly Green Giant,
The Morton Salt Girl, Mr. Clean, and The Vlasic Stork. The face of the Fisherman
was discretely hidden from view.
In the movie redux of the classic TV series Bewitched (2005), Nicole Kidman
plays a witch named Samantha Stephens. During a trip to supermarket, Sam opens
the door to a frozen food section to reveal a box of Gorton's Seafood. Suddenly,
the image of the Gorton's Fisherman on the package comes to life and begins to
talks to her. Man, now that's what I call product placement.