Character Study: Sailor Jack

This member of MLT Creative’s collection of vintage ad mascots is the seafaring spokesman for Cracker Jack, a classic caramel confection with a rich (and crunchy, and sticky) American history that dates back to 1893, at the first World’s Fair in Chicago.

Sailor JackCracker Jack’s inherent portability made it a perfect stadium snack, and soon it became synonymous with a certain national pastime – especially during the seventh-inning stretch.

Jack himself wasn’t introduced until 1918, but with his distinctive nautical duds, friendly salute and, uh, wide stance, he quickly became the brand’s most recognizable emblem – along with his canine companion, Bingo.

Now owned by Frito Lay, Cracker Jack has changed with the times, adding new flavors, like Butter Toffee, and even a website. But Jack and Bingo are still emblazoned on every box, and as a testament to the characters’ enduring popularity, the traditional sailor’s uniform of the U.S. Navy is now colloquially referred to as “the Cracker Jack.”

Character Study is an ongoing series featuring background trivia on classic advertising characters.