Friday, March 14, 2008

The UnDeer

Join "The Friends of the UnDeer" on Facebook here. Help restore the UnDeer to the level of cultural importance he so richly deserves.

The UnDeer was a Christmas time character for 7-Up, sometime in the 1971 period. It was a spin-off of their UnCola theme.

The UnDeer was a dude in a reindeer costume, sitting in a chair...

"Hi! I'm the UnDeer! How's your Hoofieees!?"

Information regarding the UnDeer on the net is sparse (most results come from a misspelling of "under")...Wikipedia has nothing (*see update below)...eBay has nothing...YouTube has nothing...strange for such a high profile product such as 7-Up. Is it a skeleton in their closet?



OMG, someone has found a UnDeer tv ad. (December 2010)

[Update: a major breakthrough has occurred in UnDeer research, see bottom of article]

Image searches result only in 2 roadkill hand puppets based on now fading memories...

A new search has revealed this from eBay:

The UnDeer

As late as July 2010, the Undeer remained relatively unknown as this posting indicates;

Undeer Christmas mascot

Question
What year(s) was your Christmas mascot the 'Undeer' and is there any information available about this terrific mascot?

Answer
The Uncola campaign started in 1967 and through at least the mid-1970s. We were not able to locate a specific date for this particular piece of advertising that the reindeer appeared on, but think it is probably early 1970s. There are not many examples of this reindeer in the 7UP advertising pieces we have and so we hesitate to say that it was the Christmas mascot of 7UP during the Uncola campaign.


The net is filled with a post here, a post there from people such as I, claiming to have spotted this mythical beast long ago.

MacDonald & Associates' Television Commercials Mixed Ads 51-60:
#56) 7 UP: reindeer says he is an un-deer and loves this un- Cola

"Does anyone besides me know what an undeer is?" - Homesurfer, Professional Contrarian 2006

"I also remember the voice as being more like Beauregard, the janitor dog on the old Muppet Show" - rodpie 2008

"...but my favorite was the 7-up un-deer commercials. But for the life of me I can't find copies of them anywhere. - Ratt1959 2008

"I remember the UnDeer and he spoke French!!!!" - Carmen 2009

"The UN-DEER is an elusive creature last seen in Canada in the 70's on 7up commercials. has anyone seen him? - UN-Deer Hunter 2008


This last note may be a clue to why there is nothing on the net about the UnDeer...if it didn't happen in America, it didn't happen...[although the audio clips below seem to indicate the UnDeer was known in the U.S.]

Paul FreesThe voice was provided by Paul Frees, who also was the voice of Disney's Ludwig Von Drake, and John and George in the television cartoon series The Beatles, among much other work (Craig at WFMU says: "Yes, Paul Frees did both George and John. He also did Boris Badenov, Inspector Fenwick on Dudley Do-Right, and such commercial voices as Toucan Sam and the Pillsbury Dough-Boy" Read more here.).

The voice resembled Marvin the Martian of Warner Brs. fame, which such catchphrases as "Wrong-O!" and "Hoofies!"

Yes Virginia, there really was an UnDeer.

*Update June 2009: Wikipedia doesn't believe there was a UnDeer, as an article on this very topic (submitted by yours truly) was rejected as "an obvious hoax"...

*Update September 2009: Gregory [My original tape was a dub from the broadcast cart at WLAP-AM in Lexington] has sent along audio proof of the Undeer's existence! Actual 1970's radio ads. Take that Wikipedia...







































12 comments:

BitVypr said...

Ah, I thought I was going mad. I thought I was the only person to remember this odd, and short-lived, character from the '70s.

As I recall, there was also a promotional bit whereby, if a consumer sent a number of bottle caps and a couple of bucks (no pun intended), a consumer could acquire a Genuine UnDeer Hoofie Puppet. I wanted one of those very badly as a kid. <*sniff*>

Rodpie said...

"Hi Ho... I bet you thought I was just sitting here warming my hoofies... Wrong-o, I'm shopping!"
I thought I remembered it as tootsies, but hoofies seems much more likely.
I also remember the voice as being more like Beauregard, the janitor dog on the old Muppet Show.
It's great to add a few more shards to this memory.

sparkplug54 said...

The Undeer was IMHO the best ad campaign that &-Up ever ran. I beleive it was dropped after they changed agencies, or perhaps went through a merger. There were two, mayber four or more years of the campaign. I beleive the last one was in 74. I have had a tape of the radio spots from 74, dubbed from the broadcast cart in my collection for years (since 74, duh). I just digitized them this week, if you want a copy.

protogenes said...

Oh yes please, that would be great.

J said...

I remembered this today...
12-19-2009... and one TV ad started with the Un-Deer singing the chorus from "Deck the Halls" ... "La la lala, la la lala"... and then the "Hi Ho" ... the word "hoofies" just struck me as so funny... and the voice. It definitely could have been Paul Frees, because it had a kind of breaking in it... like Dudley Do Right's voice. (Yes, of course I can still talk that way!!)

J said...

Lest you go nuts thinking how the tune went, and being the Un Deer, he sang the La La Lala ... to the melody of "Deck the Halls with.." and the second La La Lala was to the melody for "boughs of holly..." Now you'll remember fer sher....

beangma said...

"Un-Dasher, Un-Dancer, Un-Prancer and who is the one next to me?" I remember this well. . . .I worked for the 7-Up company back in 74 and I own, not one, but two Un-Deer puppets. My children have always enjoyed them at Christmas time. I would love to see these commercials again.

blogger said...

la la la, you just think I am sitting here warming my hoofies, wrong-o. I'm one of the un-deer, and I'm here to tell you about the uncola ...

PropheticExpeditionary said...

I am blessed to have a vintage 7 Up Undeer store display from, I believe, Christmas of 1972. He is currently in my attic, and in need of a good cleaning and some minor repairs...shame on me. He sits atop a green pedestal adorned with the 7 up logo and some glitter. Sitting down, he measures about 3 feet tall. I have always loved him or I would list him for sale on Ebay. I think I'll get him down, clean him up and take a few photos. Let's here it for The Undeer!!

DanaRotz said...

Here is a link to a 1972 video clip from a local Chicago station. At the :39 mark there is a 7UP commercial featuring the UNdeer. Unfortunately the commercial is not shown in its entirety.

http://FuzzyMemories.TV/#videoclip-3716

Keri Kelly said...

i just found a 7 up bottle with "Hoofy puppet" undeer offer on the label. awsome!

Keri Kelly said...

i just found a 7 up bottle with "Hoofy puppet" undeer offer on the label. awsome!