Animals and Marketing: What Are Brand Mascots?
Brand mascots help people to better identify with the company philosophy. It helps them become more personable, rather than some faceless company.
For many years now, many of the world’s biggest international companies have used mascots as a way of representing who they are as a business, and to win the hearts of the public. This concept has been hugely successful, making brand mascots one of the most attractive and effective marketing tools.
Today’s technology allows companies to create much more appealing characters, giving them more realistic expressions and mannerisms so that the public can engage with them on a deeper emotional level. In an increasingly competitive digital market, the ability to gain the trust and sympathies of the public is an important advantage.
What are brand mascots?
Brand mascots, also known as company mascots, are characters that are specially designed to represent a specific brand. Through them, a company can develop its own unique personality, which it can then publicize through marketing campaigns. These campaigns usually appeal to the public on an emotional or humorous level.
A company mascot isn’t just used to sell products or promote the different services on offer. Their main aim is to interact with the public and communicate the company’s values. They demonstrate the company’s unique selling point – that little extra something that will benefit customers in their day-to-day lives.
If they are designed and used carefully, these mascots can come to represent the entire brand. In fact, some brand mascots have been so successful that they have become more recognizable than the company logo itself.
Famous brand mascots
To demonstrate just how emblematic a brand mascot can become, we have selected four mascots that have grown to symbolize the heart and soul of the companies they represent. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous mascots of the last few decades.
1. Mickey Mouse, Disney
Although Mickey was originally just the main character in some of Walt Disney’s earliest works, his charisma and charm quickly won the hearts of the public, and he soon became Disney’s brand mascot.
Mickey made his first appearance back in the 1920s, in the short film Steam Boat Willie. Even more than 90 years after his creation, the charismatic mouse is still a fan favorite, and is, undoubtedly, emblematic of the entire Disney brand.
2. The Duracell bunny
The little Duracell bunny’s first appearance on television back in the 1970s caught the public’s attention almost immediately. Friendly and energetic, the character was popular among people of all ages, but especially among children. This isn’t really surprising, given that rabbits are one of the most popular children’s pets.
Thanks to their little pink bunny, Duracell was able to show that they didn’t just sell batteries; they sold tireless energy and vitality. And who among us hasn’t wished we had more energy to take on the daily challenges life throws at us?
3. Tony the Tiger, king of Kellogg’s
If you traveled back in time a couple of decades, you’d discover that the habit of eating sugary, corn-based breakfast cereals was a fairly new phenomenon in many parts of the world. In fact, for many people, it was a prime example of how the American way of life was quickly going global.
Tony the Tiger was designed to appeal to children – the target market for Kellogg’s cereal. However, his physical appearance and bold personality also aimed to convey the idea that Kellogg’s cereals contained more than just sugar and carbohydrate; they were a source of strength and energy. While this may be debatable, the success of Tony the Tiger certainly isn’t.
4. Ronald McDonald
We couldn’t talk about brand mascots without mentioning Ronald McDonald. This is also the perfect opportunity to point out that not all brand mascots are animals.
Over the years, the most famous clown of all time has managed to spread the message that McDonald’s is synonymous with happiness. In the past, the Ronald McDonald Foundation has also used the mascot in its charity campaigns, as a way to create a feeling of solidarity amongst consumers.
Despite the controversy surrounding fast food, McDonald’s use of its brand mascot in recent marketing campaigns has been unforgettable.