Icons are very important for an advertising campaign. The Marlboro Man, arguably the most successful advertising icon of the 20th century, is the perfect example as to how the advertising industry uses icons to appeal to consumers.
According to Advertising Age, Betty Crocker is considered to be the fourth most successful icon of the 20th century. Ever since the creation of the fictional face of Betty Crocker in the 1936, the icon has gone through seven additional transformations. Since the products of the Betty Crocker brand have women as their target consumers, the face of Betty Crocker must change as the ideology of the role of women changes over the decades. The first image of Betty Crocker denotes an older woman, perhaps an experienced housewife. This connotes that she is qualified to advice women all over America on how to cook. In the 1950s, when icons like Marilyn Monroe reigned pop culture and reinforced the idea of female glamor, the face of Betty Crocker was reinvented to become younger in 1955. In the 1980s, Betty Crocker took another transformation to reflect the power women of the decade that can balance the job as a CEO and as a mother/housewife. In 1996, the most recent icon of Betty Crocker, she took on an image bounded less so by ethnicity (notice the difference in skin color from the original Betty Crocker). This ambiguity allows women today of different races to identify with her.