Advertising characters and icons are so prevalent in American culture that they sometimes transcend the companies they were created to represent. For instance, last fall ABC debuted “Cavemen,” a sitcom based on the Neanderthal-like ad characters in popular commercials for car insurance company Geico. With apologies to the hypersensitive homo sapiens turned TV stars, a restaurateur would have to be living in a cave to miss the same dynamic effect brand icons have in the foodservice industry. ...

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