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 Advertising Mascots - People

Gorton's FishermanThe 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."

Gorton's Company Logo

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 company.

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 Corporation.

Denny
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" services.

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 Ad Mascots Commercial
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.

Gorton's Seafood Company Sign


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