Since making her debut on Chicken of the Sea labels in 1952, the mermaid has remained nameless. But to mark its centennial this year, the seafood brand invited consumers to submit suggested names to christen the icon for a chance to win $10,000.
Participants submitted more than 49,000 entries, the company confirmed. The winning name? Catalina.
The nationwide contest ran through Feb. 14 and the winning entry submitted by a contestant in Urbana, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.
Inspired by the brand’s 100 Years of Good initiative, which is awarding 100 community-minded individuals and nonprofits $10,000 each in 2014 to empower them to continue their charitable ways, Peggy L., will receive her own $10,000 Great American Gratitude Award and be encouraged to also pay it forward. Ten first prize winners will be awarded Chicken of the Sea seafood for one year and 20 runners-up will receive a Chicken of the Sea-branded prize.
“The name Catalina encompasses everything we feel represents our brand,” Chicken of the Sea SVP of marketing Christie Fleming said of the name, which also is the name of a historic island 22 miles off the West Coast mainland and close to Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters in San Diego. “Along with it being a naturally beautiful name suitable for our mermaid, it connects to our rich local history, as well as the adventurous spirit and lifestyle indicative of both our brand and our Southern California home.”
Also to mark its centennial celebration, the brand kicked off its Great American Gratitude tour of 39 cities across the country through Labor Day. Throughout the tour, hosted by Catalina herself, Chicken of the Sea will be awarding a total of $1 million in pay-it-forward investments.
“Instead of just presenting our Name the Mermaid Contest winner with a check for $10,000, we’re encouraging her to honor the pay-it-forward spirit of our Centennial celebration and use the money to continue the cycle of good,” Fleming said.