What Makes Brand
Mascots So Alluring?
We take a little look at just why we all love brand mascots so much, and why they can be an important part of a brand’s marketing strategy.
The Jolly Green Giant, Michelin’s Bibendum, The KFC Colonel, Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and Nestle’s Quickie are among some of the most enduring brand mascots around. Add to these the unstoppable Duracell Bunny, Compare the Markets’ loveable Meerkats, M&M’s mischievous talking sweets and a whole raft of other characters and you begin to understand why brand’s adopt them.
In short Brand mascots, when you get it right, are a very simple, very powerful and very effective way to make an emotional connection with the audience, and in doing so help the brands be front of mind from an awareness, consideration, purchase and loyalty point of view. But what makes brand mascots what makes them so alluring?
For many brands, brand mascots are a mechanism to help humanise the brand, reflect their values and personality and are often the result of highly focused brand strategies designed to help elevate the brand, encourage recall, make communications more engaging and create positivity and empathy for the brand. And above all, they are fun.
Consumers engage with brand mascots because they see themselves, people they know, or situations and moments they have empathy with reflected in the characters. Often identifying with the loveable, adventurous, enquiring, practical or quirky traits they see in them.
People also love a good story and mascots can be powerful story tellers, making emotional connections with the audience to ensure that brand, its products and/or services are more relatable and memorable.
Comparethemarket.com was yet another price comparison website until it launched the Meerkats in 2009, and in so doing propelled their brand into the stratosphere. Featuring a GGI anthropomorphic character Alexandr Orlov, portrayed as a Russian billionaire and his sidekick Sergei, initially playing on the confusion over his website comparethemeerkat.com and the price comparison site, capturing the heart of the public and becoming one of the UK’s most loved comparison sites and spawning an array of collectable soft toys and freebies that still help keep the brand front of mind.
According to VCCP, the agency that created the Meerkats “In the first 3 days of the campaign over three quarters of the monthly quotes target had been achieved. The year on year uplift in quotes was 45% and vitally, over 50% of the site traffic in the first week was coming direct to comparethemarket.com.”
Our very own award-winning Karl, The Bosch Engineer brand mascot/ambassador (originally codenamed Professor Bosch), created originally for social media, was so successful that he was later integrated across all UK marketing channels including in-store PoS and even TV.
A white paper produced by Moving Picture Company (MPC) who brought some of the most iconic characters to life including those from the Lion King, showed that characters used in long-term advertising campaigns increased profit gains by 34.1% opposed to 26.2% if they didn’t, with average customer gain at 40.9% compared to 32% in ads where no character was used.
The report also summarised that Emotionally-led campaigns were also more likely to generate double the profit of non-emotionally-led campaigns over the course of three years. The same study also identified Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot, GEICO’s Gecko and John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin were among the most popular characters over the past decade.
In summary, in a world where brands vie for attention all the time, a carefully crafted brand mascot can create impact and can stand out, encapsulating the spirit of the brand in a memorable and engaging way, and as such are more likely to capture the hearts and minds of clients, customers and employees alike.
They aren’t for every brand but, if developed and delivered well can transform the success of a business and brand. Watch this space for more exciting news on brand mascots.