Brand mascots have been around for decades. The fictitious and colorful characters are used by companies to bring brands to life and create personalities that engage consumers. Mascots can be human appearing, animals, cartoons, or even an object. Quick – name five brand mascots right now…. Chances are that you could actually name many more than five, and that you have positive feelings about each of the mascots!
Mascots do more than garner positive feelings. According to research from System1, brands increase the effectiveness of advertising when using mascots. Campaigns that included a mascot were 37% more likely to increase market share than campaigns without a mascot. Plus, mascots are 27% more likely to increase customer gains, and 30% more likely to grow profit gains. So, why is it that in the U.S., a study found that only 4% of ads used mascots in 2018?
Mascots also play an important role in recognition and retention. Consumers are more likely to remember an image than they are to recall a phrase. Not all mascots last the test of time though. A mascot has to be the right character for the brand, and it has to have personality that resonates with consumers. Plus, it has translate into visual campaigns and last for years.
What is your favorite brand mascot?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Divide students into teams. Have each team list as many brand mascots for consumer goods as they can in the next few minutes. (You might want them to have a separate category for sports teams.)
- List the mascots on the white board and count the top vote-getters.
- How do companies use these mascots in advertising?
- Show the chart with brand mascot recognition by generation: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-how-brand-mascot-recognition-has-changed-over-time/?utm_content=position_4&utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningDigest_Newsletter_190827054610&lyt_id=194931
- For an interactive class, show the following quiz and see how many mascots the students recognize: https://www.thequiz.com/product-brand-mascot-quiz/
- Why are different mascots at various levels of recognition by age cohorts?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product that does NOT have a brand mascot. Develop a mascot for that product.
- Each team should present their idea to the class.
Source: Smiley, M. (23 August 2019). Research says brand mascots really do move the needle. Ad Week.