Brand Mascots – When man became the mascot to personify a brand.
A mascot is a symbolic character that gives personality and face to any brand. Often inspired by a mix of humans and animals figures as well as inanimate objects which have human-like features, they represent the true value of your brand. Mascots play a crucial role in communicating and influencing customers.
Their primary role is to sway people’s opinion in favour of the brand and build a strong and positive brand identity. Mascots can also help your brand to be on the top of your customer’s mind, thanks to their unique and entertaining features. The right brand mascot can help to spread the right word about your business. However, even the smallest of errors in selecting the mascot can confuse your customers or can even hamper your brand.
We, humans, are hard-wired to search for a human side in everything, even in inanimate objects like brands. We like to assign human characteristics to animals and objects as it helps us establish an emotional connection with them. Humans understand and trust things and people with whom they share some kind of similarities. This is why having a brand mascot that looks like a human is essential for every brand.
When it comes to having a brand mascot with human traits, most brands go for an imaginative cartoon character. Having a cartoonish character as the mascot for the brand has brought success for many brands. But, some brands have dared to ditch the conventional norms and instead of having an animated imaginative mascot, opted for real humans.
While there is nothing wrong with going with an animated mascot, having a real mascot helps your brand to stand apart in a vast sea of quirky mascots.
Here is a collection of 5 iconic brands that chose real humans over their animated counterparts as their mascots-
#1 MDH wale Chacha- MDH
This one is a no brainer. The iconic brand and its iconic mascot have a special place in the hearts of each and every Indian. Mahashay Dharampal Gulati became the face of the brand and took MDH to unimaginable heights of success.
With his big smile and an even bigger heart, he proved that you do not need a celebrity or a cricketer to promote your products. From the ads to packaging, every MDH product features his evergreen face, making him the most recognised brand mascot and ambassador in the country. Gulati’s face is not just famous in India but he is an international brand mascot as well!
#2 Sir Richard Branson- Virgin Group
With more than 400 companies under his leadership, Sir Branson founded the Virgin Group. Using his charm and charisma, Sir Branson became the face of the brand. The sliver goateed and grinning British brand mascot has influenced a wide audience base across America and Europe.
Through his showmanship, Sir Branson gained the public trust and influenced them to buy his offerings. This allowed Virgin Group to grow and expand their business across 400 different fields in 30 different countries.
#3 Colonel Sanders- KFC
Who does not recognise this man?
The man whose smile is immortalized on the pack of our favourite chicken wings- Colonel Sanders is the face of KFC. Who would have imagined that a human face can make such an iconic mascot?
The mascot is so loved and so famous that KFC even incorporated it in their logo. Created years after the death of its founder, this friendly smiling face with glasses has turned out to be a successful choice of an ideal brand mascot conveying professionalism and vast chef experience. Today, no one can imagine enjoying a chicken burger without the round glasses and white GOATee on the pack.
#4 Dave & Wendy Thomas- Wendy’s
America’s favourite fast-food brand, Wendy’s is more famous for its shenanigans on Twitter than for its chicken sandwich and wings. Wendy’s is another fast-food chain that made its founder the mascot for their brand.
In fact, over the years of its business, the fast-food chain has had 2 different brand mascots and both of them were real humans. The first mascot- Dave Thomas became the face of the brand during the initial days and gained public confidence. He later passed on the role of mascot to his daughter, Wendy after whom the famous chain is named.
Many people think it was Dave Thomas’s marketing geniuses that made Wendy’s grew. But the truth is- it was his face on every pack that made people fall in love with America’s wittiest and most loved fast-food brand. After Wendy herself became the mascot of the brand, people could associate with their marketing campaigns more easily. This allowed the brand to have a more personal connection with their customers.
#5 Lee Lacocca- Chrysler
Lee Lacocca is a big name in the automobile industry and even a bigger name for Chrysler.
Lacocca saved Chrysler from bankruptcy by not only coming up new car models to sell but also by becoming the face of the brand in Europe and America. His face won the trust of people across two continents, helping Chrysler to bounce back and come out with some iconic models.
A mascot will make your brand more engaging and eye-catching. However, an actual person as a brand mascot will give your brand an edge over your competitors. Having an actual person assume the role of mascot gives a personal touch to your brand which other, unanimated mascots fail to provide.