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Unicorns in Advertising

Updated on March 19, 2017

One of the things a unicorn symbolized is rarity or even uniqueness. So it is ironic how often the appear in advertising. Perhaps it is because, in these advertisements, unicorns are actually used to represent many different things. The following are just a few selected examples.

Possession de Corday Perfume (1965) -- Captivity


Print Ad: "A fabled fragrance so elusive it took a generation to capture." The advertisement ran during the Christmas season of 1964 and into 1965.

Cordey used unicorns in a number of different advertisements. The example above shows a model in front of a unicorn tapestry. The model wears a gown by Hannah Troy. The tapestry is the 15th century "Unicorn in Captivity" currently held at the Cloisters Museum.

The unicorn has a complex meanings but in this case the reference is most liked to the female beloved who has been pursued and "captured" by her suitor. Other messages in this campaign include: "Love me but lead me".

Other unicorn-themed perfume advertisements:

Jeep Thailand (2008) -- Exploration

Print Ad: "Only in a Jeep" (Agency:BBDO). Apparently the Jeep is so rugged it can actually take you to mythical lands. Although if this scene continues it might result in some rather unfortunate unicorn roadkill. The painted texture does evoke a feeling of being in a fairy tale land. Other ads in the series featured the mermaid and gryphon.

Public Storage (2011) -- Excess

TV Commercial: Public Storage, a solution to having a few too many unicorn-themed decorative items. [Video]. I suppose the unicorns also represent really bad taste. I like unicorns, but more than one unicorn d├ęcor item per room could probably be considered excessive.

Burger King Russia (2011) -- Surreal

TV Commercial: It seems like anything can happen in a Russian Burger King. [Video link]. This exuberant and bizarre advertisement quickly went viral online. The unicorn makes a rather brief appearance but was considered one of the defining features of the spot.

Eagle Advertising Awards (2011) -- Cute (and so sad)

Print Ad: "Every time you make a bad ad, a unicorn dies."

Unicorn hunting does for poor quality advertising what kitten smiting did for self-pleasing.

Ameristar Quadricorn (2012) -- Four Times

TV Commercial series [4 parts]: The Cannonball advertising agency came up with something even better than a unicorn, a quadricorn with four horns. The quadricorn represented the 4X bonus points for slots at the Ameristar Casino.

"Quadricorn" is, by the way, a real word--referring to any animal with four horns.


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