Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mascot Advertising

Sunday, May 31, 2009

If you are somehow related to Marketing you know what I am really talking about here. For those who don’t, I will introduce you the concept shortly. Have you ever seen some fictional characters with any brands? I am sure you must have? Think more and you will get more than one brands who have associated some characters with their brands. In my mind, I have 7-up’s Fido dido, Ding Dong’s Cat, Vodafone’s Puppy, Energizer’s Bunny, Safeguard’s Commander Safeguard, Kellogg’s Tiger and Nintendo’s Super Mario. Well, there are many I can name it but we have to talk about many other things besides just naming the mascots. First of all, why companies invest in making such mascots? If you are thinking all these mascots are developed just to target the children, you are definitely wrong because there is more than that. When you are managing a brand, you have to build stories around your brand and there are many ways. You can endorse a Hi-fi celebrity, you can do some Pr activity or you can create a mascot. Mascot is just a fictional character, representing the brand persona which teaches the consumers about what the product is and why consumers should buy it. It has some characteristics of the target market of course. Mascot is not just creating a creative character but also defining some characteristics which are related to the brand somehow. What's more, mascot advertising is a cost-effective way to help consumers remember your brand. A company could pay Shahrukh Khan or David Beckham millions of dollars to represent it, but if you don't have the budget then it obviously can't. Mascot enhances the possibility of brand recall and people or your target market can have a strong association with your mascot. In the long run, a mascot can help in creating strong brand equity which is a strong asset for any company. Mascots are very common in sports and if you haven’t noticed so far check out the different logos of different leagues, sports teams or even Tournaments who brand themselves. For example check out Olympics for which Mascots are used every time. Do you remember the Cricket World Cup 1996 in which a red ball was used as a character? However in my opinion the best mascot is the Michelin Man used by the Michelin Tires used since 1905 and it has the strongest recall I think till now.

Checklist before Creating a Mascot

1. Strong Association with brand

2. Must represent the brand Persona

3. Must be creative enough and well executed

4. Should have a professional name

5. Should provide fictitious credentials for the character

But before you create a mascot for your brand, you have to keep this in mind that you need to build stories around your mascot and your brand because that is what branding is all about. It has the ability that people should talk about your brand.


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