Over on Gary Rith's potters blog, in the comments, two people mentioned Flat Stanley. I have no idea who Flat Stanley is, and have no pressing need (pressing, need, remember that, it may be relevant later...) to google or otherwise find out... Instead, my mind said ERIC, not Stanley, -Flat Eric!
He became an overnight success, his favoured techno track, Mr Oizo's "Flat Beat" sold like hot cakes, and my cousin had a yellow fluffy Flat Eric riding shotgun in his van. 1999. Remember 1999? remember how all the world's electronics were going to collapse on the stroke of midnight, as the millennium dawned?
Every computer system in the world was doomed, fridges and cars alike would become silent junk?
And there was no such thing as an eyepod or an eyephone, and the internet was ruled by beebly telephone-line 56k modems?
Oh. As far as I know, the ad, whilst set in California was not for the U.S. market.
Eric was, in fact, a cousin, somewhat removed of Kermit. He was born in Jim Henson's creature shop, as were muppets and many others. He was loosely based on a character invented by Mr Oizo.