Meet the new Chuck E. Cheese, the mousy Pied Piper that the 35-year-old chain hopes will lure a new generation of children into its pepperoni-and-cheese paradise.
Some things are the same: He’s still a rodent, and his sartorial tastes still run to the green and purple.
But the fingerless gloves are gone, as are the '90s skater shorts and the rolled socks. The new Chuck comes clad in jeans and carrying an electric guitar.
Or, as Ad Age snarkily noted: “Chuck E. Cheese Updated for the Mid '90s.”
He looks a bit like another animated mouse -- not Mickey, but rather Basil from Disney’s “The Great Mouse Detective.”
Chuck will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the front man for Bowling for Soup, a pop-punk band whose hit songs include a ditty called “1985.” Reddick already has some experience doing voice work on Disney’s animated television show "Phineas and Ferb."
Starting Thursday, the chain’s parent, CEC Entertainment Inc., will start running ads as part of the campaign, which it’s calling “Chuck E. Rocks.” The spots were developed by the Richards Group.
In them, Chuck dances around tables and arcade games, magically managing to not terrify the mothers present.
Already, consumers are opining about the switch.
“Chuck E. Cheese mascot to be rebooted as a rock star, spend years drifting in and out of rehab,” wrote Mark Campbell on Twitter.
“Even a talking mouse isn’t recession proof,” tweeted user terfle.
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