Nov 1, 2012

Remember November: Fido Dido

I've heard it said that influenza is to the common cold what a category five cyclone is to a sunshower.

While I had no reason to scoff at the description before, I certainly never will again, given that a bout of Influenza B has gone all Hurricane Sandy on my ass.

I returned from Burma, via Singapore, with symptoms of what I thought was a regular headcold, the latest in a long line of sniffles and sinus problems that I seem to have encountered with alarming super-frequency this year.

But after several days' deterioration, I went back to the doctor to politely suggest this wasn't just a regular cold. Blood tests were ordered, a nasal swab was taken, and a positive confirmation for Influenza B was the result.

For the past six days, all I've been able to do is sleep and stare blankly at the television. Sometimes I even managed to activate the remote control to put something on the television. But basically, it has left me wiped more thoroughly than a baby's .... oh, I don't even have the energy to finish that untoward analogy.

Lesson learned - next year, I'm getting my god damn flu shot.

I've still got a bunch of travel articles either ready-to-go or almost-ready-to-be-written, and I do plan on posting them in coming days/weeks. However, I couldn't help but notice today marks November 1. Two years ago I ran a month-long series called "Remember November", a daily dash of nostalgia served up in bite-sized, hopefully entertaining morsels.

So I thought I'd give it another try. And how appropriate to start with cartoonish early-90s soft drink marketing devices?

I actually remembered the concept of Fido Dido while in Burma. My memories were stirred by the official soft drink brand of Myanmar, named "Blue Mountain". Its official slogan was "Just Drink It!" which sounded more more like an order from the ruling military junta than a tantalising temptation for carbonated beverages. But it reminded me of other drink slogans of my youth.

I don't even remember 7UP existing before Fido Dido, at least not in Australia. The simple, line-drawn, wavy-haired character and his cool-to-be-clear demeanour, were as tightly bound with the PepsiCo-branded lemonade as the "dynamic ribbon device" was with Coca-Cola. People wore Fido Dido T-shirts and badges. Kids at school had Fido Dido pencil cases and rulers. And why? Because Fido Dido was cool.

Fido Dido didn't follow authority. Fido Dido didn't need permission for anything. Fido Dido wore singlets with his own goddamn face on them. Take that, The Man.

Every time 7UP rebranded in the 90s, there would be Fido Dido, in some sort of new incarnation, even occasionally in wild 3D.

Eventually Fido Dido seemed to fade from the public consciousness; like N*Sync's music and Bill Clinton's sexuality, it was just another nonchalantly carefree 90s fad that wouldn't play post 9/11. But sometimes, it's still nice to crack open a 7UP and think about those heady days when a simple cartoon could be simultaneously a corporate shill AND an anti-authority figure.


  1. Interesting that you mixed illness with 7UP in the same post, as 7UP was the only appropriate beverage during childhood, when home from school with stomach ailments. Perhaps the reason I can't enjoy 7UP or any other citrusy carbonated beverages today.

  2. "I'm getting my god damn flu shot" YAY

    Fido Dido I can remember the name, have no recollection of the soft drink don't think I ever tasted it. Did it taste good?

  3. The ad from my youth that is still seared in my brain is for TAB Cola.

    However politically incorrect, the branding worked.

  4. I remember having one of those clay models with the wire on the inside of Fido Dido.

    I liked Cool Spot better though. He had awesome Video Games.

  5. OK - you guys are going to have to tell me more - I have NO recollection of "Cool Spot", whatever that was!

    Thanks all for your comments too. :)

  6. Get well soon CG! Sorry you're sick and looking forward to some Burma stuff.
    Carlene from Geebung

  7. Cool Spot was the red 7up spot that took over when Fido was led out to "The Farm". One of the first things they did was put him in an extremely playable platformer on the Megadrive.