Brand Mascots

How many of the following brand mascots could you identify? 

A brand’s personality

Brand mascots are powerful assets in marketing and with good reason. They are highly memorable. It would be very surprising if you couldn’t name most of the brands associated with the images above, if not all of them.

Brand Mascots gives your brand a face and a distinct personality that differentiates it from every other business in your market sector. The beauty of mascots is that they can be based on people, anthropomorphic animals, mythical creatures, toys or even personified objects. This means that a mascot can be created to match the personality of your business and given the human characteristics to resonate and engage with your target audience.

The primary purpose of creating a mascot is to build and strengthen your brand’s identity and to reinforce top of mind awareness. They also have the added quality of being consistent, never ageing and being able to adapt to every new trend that comes along.

An emotional connection

Mascots build an emotional connection with customers, a bridge between you and your target audience. We are hard-wired to respond to something that reacts in a human way regardless of whether they are actually human or not. Think for a moment about the Disney and Hanna Barbera cartoons we all grew up with. All sorts of animals and everyday objects were animated with human characteristics and we developed an emotional bond with them. Consider for a moment the power associated with Mickey Mouse. Probably the very first global brand mascot, it’s hard not to think of Disney without thinking of the little fellow and vice versa.

Promoting company values

A mascot not only forms an emotional tie with the audience, but over time they become associated with the company values and become symbols that can be trusted and relied on. Taking Mickey Mouse as an example, if Mickey is associated with promoting a film, we know from the values associated with him that the film will be suitable for the whole family with no shocks or surprises.

Mascots can create a conversation with your audience, but to do that they need to come alive. Compare the Market struck gold when they introduced Aleksandr Orlov and his family of meerkats. The meerkats have evolved. Once upon a time they were annoyed with people accessing their website by mistake. Now they promote all Compare the Market’s marketing initiatives. By giving each member of the meerkat family their individual human quirks and characteristics they are brought alive and come across as real, genuine personalities that we can identify with and trust. Subconsciously we make the connection that Compare the Market is a business that is family orientated and shares the same values that we do. Therefore, because of the synergy we are more likely to buy. If the meerkats had not been animated and remained as two dimensional figures on a page, their impact would have been negligible.

Coming alive on social media

There are many other ways of bringing brand mascots to life. Mattel’s Barbie for example has her own fashion channel on Instagram. 

Sharing your mascot on social media is a no-brainer and many of today’s most recognisable brand mascots have their own social media pages to give them a voice and personality. By posting and tweeting on your company’s behalf, mascots can make your business appear more approachable and friendly. However, the posts and tweets must be engaging and aim to entertain and inspire their fan bases and not focus too much on sales.

Creating a brand mascot

When creating your brand mascot consider:

  • What your brand would be like if it had human characteristics. Consider its values, personality traits, qualities, likes and dislikes. Which of theses traits would resonate the most with your target audience.
  • Your mascot’s look. What sort of human, object or animal best represents your brand personality and how would that character be received by your target audience
  • Your mascot’s personality. Its personality should be memorable and not necessarily likeable. Think of Peperami’s Animal.
  • Your mascot’s name. When naming your character, again choose something that reflects the brand’s personality and target audience. Avoid using a name that is specifically associated with a particular product or service. You may wish to expand your product or service offering in the future.
  • How your mascot will always stay in character. This can be difficult if lots of people will be posting on your social media accounts. However a consistent mascot voice is essential to its believability and ultimately its success.
  • The strategy for bringing your mascot to life. Decide what you are going to do with it and when. Create a backstory for your mascot and treat it as if it’s real. Diarise big events in its life based around your company objectives and promotional calendar. 
  • The assets required to back up your mascot’s story. Create the assets you will need for your mascot’s social media posts. What images and videos will be required to make your mascot come to life?

The Brand Mascots

The brand mascots at the beginning of this post are: Puppy (Andrex), Michelin Man (Michelin Tyres), Mickey Mouse (Disney), Coco the monkey (Coco Pops), Churchill (Churchill Insurance), Tony the Tiger (Frosties), Bertie Bassett (Liquorice All Sorts),  Jolly Green Giant (Green Giant), Tetley tea folk (Tetley Tea), Honey Monster (Sugar Puffs), Meerkats ( , Dulux dog (Dulux Paint), Mario (Nintendo Games), Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Monkey (PG Tips), Uncle Ben (Uncle Ben’s Rice), Snap, Crackle & Pop (Ricicles), Animal (Peperami).

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