Next week is Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) and GovLoop is teaming up with the Partnership for Public Service to promote PSRW by running a special series called "Meet the Government Mascot." Each day we've been introducing you to a new mascot, then we'll run a contest on May 6-8 where you can vote for your favorite.
Mascot number 5 is an oldie but a goodie. Kids today might not recognize the United State's Postal Service's mascot Mr. ZIP but back in the day Mr. ZIP, Zippy for short, played a big role in keeping the post office sane by getting people to actually use the ZIP code system. Seriously, imagine trying to sort through mail with ZIP codes it could drive a person crazy!
Anyways, in the 1960s the post office's older clientele and mass mailers (what some people refer to as junk mail, but we all know that's not true) weren't using ZIP codes on their mail, enter Mr. ZIP. Mr. ZIP was designed to teach small children to know to always use the ZIP Code as they got older, and also to encourage their parents and grandparents to do so. Evidence would say that he worked out pretty well in that regard.
Mr. ZIP is a caricature of a mail carrier, wide-eyed and drawn with his letter bag trailing him in such a way as to imply his traveling at extreme speed, and sometimes holding on to his hat with his free hand. His hair was straight, but his skin was somewhat orange, making him non racially-identifiable and also way before his time as far as PR campaigns go.
With the decline of the post office in the digital age some people might brush Mr. Zip aside as irrelevant but just remember when you control the mail you control... information.
Mr. ZIP can still be found on some stamp booklets and also on the US Postal Services website on the ZIP code look up and directory page.
**Seinfeld Fans are going to want to click the links**
MEET THE OTHER GOV MASCOTS: