As with many animated advertising mascots, Chiquita Banana was the brainchild of an established cartoonist in this case, Dik Browne, creator of Hagar the Horrible. His potassium-powered pitchwoman hit the airwaves in 1944, crooning a signature tune penned by BBDO and sung by 40s vocalist Patti Clayton:
“I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are flecked with brown and have a golden hue
Bananas taste the best and are best for you.”
As informative as it was catchy, the jingle went a long way toward familiarizing Americans with what was, at the time, still considered an exotic fruit. Along with a certain famous hat, it also helped cement Chiquitas iconic ad character status, even after the character itself was re-conceptualized as a human woman in 1987.
Character Study is an ongoing series featuring background trivia on the classic advertising characters.