We have all as marketers discussed, debated, worked on creating, shaping, modifying the brands that we have managed. Often the central point of conversation would have been about the brand character, its personality. We would either have brand bibles that gave a pen picture of the brand or at times written one de novo.
What these pen pictures do is that they make the brand tangible for us. As marketers we have given several dimensions such as names, personalities, characteristics some have also given their brands a face!
Mascots for brands have been around for as long as we have known brands. Brands with mascots achieve a lot with very little. It takes most brands time and effort in the form of consistent communication to establish the character traits and a personality for themselves. Of course along with a Hail Mary for it to be understood by the consumers the way it is intended.
Today more than ever before, in an era of increasing choices and decreasing attention spans mascots can play a very significant role in carving consumer mind-space for brands. The digital natives of today understand and also identify with the concept of “avatars”. The digital natives understand that though not the actual person, the avatars are perhaps the nearest likelihood or the self-projection.
From a brands perspective it allows consumers to interact with a “face” or a “person” instead of some nameless, faceless representative. It adds that little bit of familiarity which is key for brand comfort.
Mascots help the brand engage better with its consumers
- They can be de facto brand spokespersons. Mascots can have real time presence in sociosphere, sharing, commenting, reacting and interacting with consumers all across.
- Mascots are more flexible than other brand assets and identifiers such as logos, colors and fonts. They can speak different languages, dress for the occasion helping brands localize and customize messages. Take on multiple avatars!
- The mascot can be a brands promoter at the point of sale. Driving recall, reinforcing the brands core values and even delivering a sales pitch.
- Brand ambassadors may switch or cease to be relevant but mascots will always belong to the brand.
- The sheen of the brand may diminish over time but mascots are ageless. Sometimes even out surviving the brand.
Mascots needn’t necessarily be cartoons, caricatures or animated characters alone. They can be and are human too. Many brands have successfully created characters and used them in communication across multiple touch points.
Here are a few brands and their mascots that according to me have served or are serving their brands superlatively across TV commercials, radio spots, print ads, hoardings and web films.
Look forward to your thoughts.