Intrigue in local promotion: Mr. Happy Crack and Dirt Cheap Chicken

We often focus on the international brand mascots: Ronald, Doughboy, even the Giant. But what about the regional mascots? Smaller companies may not be fighting for precious feet of display space in markets across the country, but their marketing and PR gimmicks may mean the difference between new stores and closed stores. Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a sudden (nearly three-fold) surge in voting during their online contest for favourite St. Louis advertising icon. Apparently, the Dirt Cheap Chicken was in command of the poll until, in a 24 hour period, the vote tripled and Mr. Happy Crack took the lead for good.

Who is Mr. Happy Crack? Let's have the corporate website speak for him:

    Mr. Happy Crack - along with his trademark slogan, 'A dry crack is a happy crack!' - was introduced in 2002, and immediately achieved fame usually reserved for rock stars, corporate whistle-blowers and conjoined siblings.

Now, Mr. Happy Crack could have had an online advantage: he was a mini-meme earlier this year, and his image has been bouncing around for a few years. But the Dirt Cheap Chicken really deserves some credit for a targeted tag line:

    "Cheap, cheap, fun, fun," chirps the Dirt Cheap Cigarettes, Beer and Liquor chicken. "That's right, Chicken" says [owner] Fred W. Teutenberg IV. "And remember, the more she drinks, the better you look. We are the last refuge of the persecuted smoker, and we really are grateful for your business."