Owens Corning is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its relationship with The Pink Panther. Through the years, the iconic MGM character and company “spokescat” has grown to become one of the world’s most recognisable and beloved brand mascots.
Owens Corning began partnering with The Pink Panther to promote sales of PINK Fiberglas insulation on 15 August 1980. Since that time, the suave cartoon character has starred in countless television, print, and digital media promotions for the company and its businesses. The Pink Panther also adorns the vehicles of hundreds of select contractors, distributors and builders working with the company’s Roofing and Insulation businesses.
“The relationship between Owens Corning and The Pink Panther is nothing short of remarkable,” said Suzanne Harnett, Owens Corning’s vice president of corporate affairs. “For 40 years, The Pink Panther has been a smart and stylish ambassador for our company speaking persuasively to our brand promise despite never uttering a word.”
Robert Marick, MGM’s executive vice president global consumer products and experiences, said, “Marking 40 years of The Pink Panther as spokesperson for Owens Corning is a true moment to celebrate. It’s rare that you see a promotional relationship like this continue for decades. It speaks to both the timelessness and universal appeal of The Pink Panther, as well as Owens Corning’s ability to make him an integral part of their marketing and platforms.”
The company’s enduring relationship with The Pink Panther began the same year that saw the introduction of CNN, Pac-Man, and Post-it Notes, and it has since coincided with the terms of seven US presidents.
The concept for pairing The Pink Panther with Owens Corning was first suggested by Roger Butler, an executive at the New York-based advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. The association was natural given the colour of the company’s insulation, which has brandished its distinctive pink hue for more than 60 years. The colour was added in 1956 when the company was testing a new form of the product. It distinguished the new all-fibre product from the standard insulation for installers who liked the new option and began asking for “the pink insulation.” After demonstrating decades of widespread use of the colour PINK, Owens Corning became the first company to receive a trademark for a colour, on 12 May 1987.
The Pink Panther was developed by animation cartoonists Friz Freleng and David Depatie as the opening title sequence for the 1964 film, “A Shot in the Dark,” starring Peter Sellers. The film was a box-office hit, but no less compelling was the sly, breezy Pink Panther himself. As a result, his movie career was expanded into animated cartoons, books, merchandise and ultimately, a starring turn as brand mascot for Owens Corning.