A mascot is more than just a fluffy costume that smiles and dances around at local events. A mascot can bring life to your brand, give it a face, help tell your story, gain exposure, and make your brand more personable and memorable. A mascot should also envelop your brand’s values with the overall goal to make your brand recognizable and memorable. In fact, certain mascots are immediately identifiable and most importantly, are strongly associated with the brand they represent.
To prove a point, we invite you to take the following Mascot Quiz we’ve created to see if you can identify their associated brand. Most of these mascots are pretty well-known, but there are a few tricky ones that may be challenging. The purpose of this quiz is to show you the power that mascots have and the benefits they can bring to a brand. (The answers are at the bottom of this article.) 😉
So, how did it go? Were most of them recognizable? Whether driving down the road and seeing an image on a billboard or scrolling through social media and catching glimpses of images, we are constantly relating those images to the brands they represent.
And with the strongest mascots, the association works both ways. When someone mentions the name Disney, it’s difficult not to envision Mickey Mouse. And when the Geico brand is seen, most people immediately associate the Gecko as their mascot. When we are exposed to brands and their mascots often enough, they take on a singular personality, and if done correctly, personalities we like and can trust. Below are just a few key examples:
It probably goes without saying, but Mickey Mouse is the #1 mascot. Pretty much all 7 billion people in the world can identify this lovable character. With his big smile and happy personality, Mickey Mouse has been a household name for nearly 100 years and has drawn billions to his franchise.
Fun Fact – Back in 1928, Mickey Mouse was featured in Steamboat Willie, which is often referred to as the very first cartoon. It wasn’t, but Steamboat Willie was the first cartoon with sound.
Planter’s Mr. Peanut has long been known as making an ordinary snack look fancy. Donning a top hat, monocle, and cane, he has proven to consumers that Planter’s is a trusted brand offering a product that is not only tasty, but affordable.
Fun Fact – Mr. Peanut made his debut back in 1916, but didn’t acquire a speaking voice until 2010 and Robert Downey Jr. had the first privilege of bringing Mr. Peanut’s vocals to life.
TONY THE TIGER
I’m sure you know exactly what Tony is saying… “They’re Grrrrreat!” Less of a beast and more of a friendly feline, Tony is a lovable, always smiling tiger and often appears in commercials engaging in sports activities with kids. The popular tiger and slogan have proved that Kellogg’s knows how to market their products.
Fun Fact – Born in 1951, Tony the tiger beat out a few other potential mascots for Frosted Flakes; Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant, and Newt the Gnu.
When choosing a mascot for Geico they looked no further than their customers who often mispronounced Geico as Gecko. Gecko is a professional and comical little fellow with a sophisticated voice. He makes insurance more appealing to shop for, especially with the potential to save hundreds by choosing Geico.
Fun Fact – Making his debut in 2000, Gecko is also sometimes known as Martin. Martin has a fancy ring to it and seems to be very fitting for this tiny gentleman.
Six characters each with their own personalities and representing their own flavors. There’s Sarcastic Red, Simple Yellow, Cool Blue, Paranoid Orange, Alluring Green, and Authoritative Ms. Brown. M&M’s have proven to be America’s favorite candy offering a variety of flavors sure to put all sweet-tooth cravings to rest.
Fun Fact – In 1954 the first spokescandy, Sarcastic Red debuted, with Simple Yellow following not long after.
How Do Mascots Come To Life?
Whether your business is big or small, having a mascot represent your brand can be extremely impactful on gaining recognition and growing sales. Mascots are generally a very cost-effective way to market your brand and can be introduced through digital and print. Once the mascot is established, a costume can be created which allows it to take on a life of it’s own, appear at events, and actually engage directly with an audience.
And isn’t that what every brand hopes for? To market their brand successfully with a memorable, positive image? Another way to get your brand mascot out there is by putting its face on product packaging and giveaways.
What Should My Mascot Look Like?
Mascots need to be thoughtfully designed to effectively position the brand for success. So, before rushing in trying to design a mascot for a brand, there are important aspects that need to be considered:
- Back Story. Mascots should have a story. Think about when the brand was born and take into consideration it’s mission statement, values, and anything that is deemed important for the success of the brand.
- Personality and Looks. This is where it gets creative! But don’t sacrifice the brand’s values for creativity. Think about what the brand feels like, the message being relayed to customers, the colors of the logo, and the personality and positioning of your business.
- Audience. Who is the brand trying to reach? What is the demographic of the customers? When walking down the cereal aisle at the local market, it is easy to distinguish between brands that are marketing to a young demographic and those that are positioned for an older audience.
Getting Social With Your Mascot
Another great tool for incorporating a mascot is social media. Many brands create separate accounts for their mascots to provide another avenue for marketing. These accounts create a way for the mascot to engage in conversations with your audience by telling their personal story which in turn points back to the brand. Take a look at these Instagram examples from Mr. Peanut and the AFLAC duck:
Having a mascot post something casual or from everyday life while adding engaging copy with a twist of humor will draw people in. This is another fantastic opportunity to get creative with your brand’s story and mascot.
There are many other opportunities for using a mascot to promote a brand and many things to consider while creating a marketing strategy around it. If you’re interested in creating a mascot for your brand or would like to learn more about the process, give Fuzzy Duck a call. We’d love to chat with you about how we’ve helped brands stand out through the creation of a mascot.
- Wendy, Wendy’s Fast Food
- Charlie the Tuna, Starkist Tuna
- Mr. Clean, Proctor & Gamble
- Cornelius (Corny) Rooster, Kellogg’s Cornflakes
- Jolly Green Giant, B&G Foods
- Quiky, Nesquick
- Chester Cheetah, Cheeto’s
- Doughboy, Pillsbury
- Michelin Man, Michelin Tires
- Buzz, Honey Nut Cheerios
- Kool-Aid Man, Kool-Aid
- McGruff, National Crime Prevention
- Captain Morgan, Rum
- Julius Pringles, Pringles
- Miss Chiquita, Chiquita Bananas
- Colonel Sanders, KFC
- Chef Boyardee, Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta
- Cap’n Crunch, Cap’n Crunch Cereal
- Ernie Keebler, Keebler Snacks
- Aflac Duck, AFLAC Insurance