How and Why Do Mascots Work?

They give the brand personality.
In a crowded marketplace one (an entertainer, product, company) must have a distinctive personality. If you listen to Madonna with your eye's closed, she's a mediocre singer, but she has created a larger than life personality that's made her rich. Above I mentioned Snoopy's role on behalf of MetLife. Now, before the letters start to roll in I'm not saying that MetLife is a mediocre insurance company. What I am saying that the adoption of one of the best-known personalities elevated the perception of company to the top rung of its industry.

They highlight the brand virtues. Each mascot character is (if done right) the embodiment of brand or product's virtues. The Energizer® bunny "keeps on working." It's worth noting that he's now common slang for someone who doesn't quit.

They are custom and unique. You don't have to search for a human or an animal who best personifies your brand, you can make something up, for example, Domino's® Noid© character - half clown, half rabbit - who looks a bit like one of Heinz Edleman's creations for the Beatles animated film from the 1960s, The Yellow Submarine.

They are timeless. Unlike real-life representatives, cartoon characters need not grow old or pass away. They can be periodically updated in order to stay contemporary. Or, as with characters like the Keebler� Elves, they can be based totally in imagination.

They don't show up in rehab. Cartoon mascots are remarkably devoid of the self-destructive personality traits that lead to many a celebrity's downfall and they almost never show up in police line-ups or The Entertainment Channel's® True Hollywood Story™. Furthermore, they can demonstrate personality quirks (at least in pre-PC times) that would get flesh-and-blood personalities arrested. Two examples are the Tasmanian Devil and Punchy™, the minehune who promotes Hawaiian Punch®.

They are memorable - even when they're gone. Four characters who were yanked thanks to politically correct protests: the Frito Bandito™, Joe Camel™, Spuds McKenzie™ and the aforementioned Punchy are readily recalled in repeated research. Clearly their personalities captured attention.

They create emotional connections. Hot rodders will have the cigar chomping cousin of Woody Woodpecker for Clay Smith cams tattooed on various body parts. There are websites devoted to Reddy Kilowatt™ the avatar of electrical power who first appeared in the 1920's and was last seen in the late '60s.

Here's a short test!