The Great Root Bear is the popular mascot for A & W Root Beer. It was first used in 1974 by Canada’s A & W, and was later adopted by the American chain. In the late 1990s, the Great Root Bear’s role as mascot was reduced for the restaurant chain, ultimately being replaced by “The Burger Family”, although it still appears in various capacities for the restaurants and on A & W Root Beer cases in Canada. In a long-running television advertising campaign for the Canadian A & W chain, his theme was a tuba-driven jingle entitled “Ba-Dum, Ba-Dum”
Drew Carey began appearing in commercials for restaurants in the late 1990s in Canada with The Great Root Bear, but his two-year contract with A & W Food Services of Canada was cut short in November 1998 after an episode of The Drew Carey Show featured McDonald’s.