It is a sure sign of Saskatchewan’s apocalypse — or, more accurately, SaskTel’s.
Amid continued ongoing rumors of the provincial Crown corporation’s possible privatization, this Cam Fuller piece in the Star-Phoenix confirms that SaskTel has quietly dropped its long-running series of Little Red Riding Hood animated commercials, featuring the fairy tale character as well as her beloved goldfish Gainer (named for the beloved Roughriders mascot).
The series of commercials ran all through Saskatchewan’s boom years, when life in Saskatchewan was truly grand, where everyone had jobs and the ‘Riders were winning Grey Cups. “Red” and “Gainer” became locally iconic on the same relative level as, say, the Geico Gecko. Or Flo from Progressive.
As well, these ads were pure Saskatchewanicana, with lots of local references to the ‘Riders and the like.
It seemed as if these ads would be on TV forever, and apparently many Saskatchewan folks were worried about exactly that! A couple of years ago, someone sent a disgusted Tweet directed at SaskTel and frustratedly asked:”How many more years are we expected to endure this Little Red Riding Hood bull$#!t?”
Count on Saskatchewan people, who are famous for complaining about everything, to get their hackles up over something as innocuous as Little Red Riding Hood!
Personally, I liked the ads, they got my attention which is what a good ad is supposed to do! But it’s also pretty obvious that folks around here are in no mood to be amused by cartoon characters these days.
The demise of the “Red” series of SaskTel ads coincides with the end of the province’s “boom” years, the end of the provincial surplus and of many people’s jobs, not to mention the ‘Riders swift decline to the very bottom of the CFL standings.
In short, there is no silver lining anymore to life in Saskatchewan, a place where life is usually pretty tough to begin with. Now, there’s almost nothing left to cheer us up. Those of us who enjoyed life a little bit more in this place because of these Little Red Riding Hood ads now have one less reason to stay.