The value of brand mascots
Brands and their products are recognisable by their identity; mostly their visual mark, and in particular their logo. We all have come to recognise Michelin tyres’ Michelin man, 7UP’s Fido Dido, Ronald MacDonald, Twitter’s bird, Google’s Android. The key to marketing brands is the ability to give life to those marks. These brand visuals could be about a person, company, or team, but they all share a common foundation, people should easily recognise your brand and products. The name, logo or mascot of a brand all play the role of becoming the bridge between the consumer’s memory and your person/service.
Among all marketing elements used for establishing an identity, #brandmascots are the most appreciated. It’s something extraordinary for the eyes to see a static logo coming alive or a friendly stripped tiger having breakfast or taking a photo with Ronald MacDonald. We instantly forget that there’s someone inside the costume and relate more to the powerful message being performed. #Brandmascots are able to cut the social barriers, from soccer mums and men at baseball stadiums to innocent toddlers at the breakfast table.
It is an accepted fact that we love to surround ourselves with familiar objects and to live our lives in familiar places. This is more evident when we shop for groceries. Our eyes scan the isles for our favourite product from the shelves, looking for the familiar colours, visuals and marks. We reach out for the familiar face smiling back from the packaging. We don’t give a second thought to our actions and we unconsciously consider them as part of us. This is the epitome of a brand’s success.
To achieve this triumph, one must understand that there is fine line between a successful and unsuccessful mascot. This line is rooted in the “details” of the #brandmascots. Because advertising is nowadays “in your face”, creatives have sought many ways to make a brand stand out. Designers have discovered that the shorter and iconic an identity is, the easier people will relate to it and, eventually establish a commercial relationship. This is the number one reason why symbolism and iconography SHOULD play a significant role in the design process and should receive extreme attention. Not everybody is able to conceive and give life to something coherent and in tone which connects a brand to its identity.
Design bureaus come as the best solution for creating a #brandmascots from zero or for rebranding an existing brand name. These bureaus often employ different people for the different stages of the design process. They are careful about proportions, colours, textures and how their ideas must align perfectly with a brand’s ethos. Bureaus go even further to build life-size replicas with a man/woman behind the costume. Designers create unique personalities for each #brandmascots and ensure that every action compliments the brand. Bureaus also prepare #brandmascots for trade events with the same standard equaling a Broadway theatrical show. But this is a play where there is no curtain and no backstage. The #brandmascots interacts with the public and carries the brand’s pre-prepared script.
#Brandmascots can be utilised in multiple media and throughout the brand's life-cycle!
The success of a #brandmascots can be so big that people will remain faithful to a certain brand just because its mascot. When you buy a new set of car tires, you probably don’t think about all the technical details. You probably look at the smiling Michelin Man thinking it’s both safe and fun to buy from “him”. Your kids are not just at McDonalds for fast-food, but probably also attached to Ronald because he’s always happy and bubbly. Most teenagers love 7UP’s Fido Dido because he’s got the cool factor. He’s slim, young, active, wears swanky glasses and eager to experiment. These examples allow us to conclude that it is no longer a matter of taste. Rather, design characteristics embodied by a mascot, creates the desire to associate with a brand and eventually establish a commercial relationship.
#Brandmascots have proven their importance in all the media channels used for advertising. In either static or dynamic ways, they help to humanise corporations and products you would otherwise have ignore. There are numerous ways to make a mascot stand out. It can be funny, ironic, clumsy or even despised. Design bureaus hold the key to generating as much human emotion from the largest possible audience. Sometimes #brandmascots are just avatars of our most common thoughts and ideas and an experienced bureau will always know where to wrench out that unique identity. It usually takes time for the public to adopt a #brandmascots as one of their favourites, but there is no official rule. Instant success can come if all the right details are mixed with great ideas. Did I say great? Make it extraordinary. Contact Ofamfa Design Studio and we will design your unique, 100% brand owned Mascot.
About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.