The Power of Brand Mascots on Social Media

Out with the old, in with the new. We’ve all heard that saying. But an old idea is now making a rebound, and thanks to the age of social media, creating quite a revolution. Out with old? Not so fast…..

We’re of course talking about using mascots on social media – aka Tony the Tiger, Captain Crunch, Allstate’s Mayhem, Mr. Clean, Progressive’s Flo, Captain Morgan, Aflac’s Duck and the GEICO Gecko, just to name a few.

The idea of brand mascots is surging (again) as marketers re-launch old characters in fresh new story lines, and use the power of digital media to get those stories out in the world. Back in the day, we usually could only catch Mr. Peanut on the television set during commercials. Not so anymore.

Mascots have been around since the 1890’s. Mascots can be a win-win-win for your business, and can help personify your brand…. if it’s the right fit. And they work. Period. Studies show that brand mascots are effective tools because they resonate so well with consumers…especially on social media. Folks much prefer an entertaining character rather than a stuffy executive. Who wouldn’t? And they engage the customers by not pitching “the hard sell”. Mascots are warm and fuzzy, and can communicate the message a little softer.

If you’re considering a mascot to rep your brand on social media, first determine if a mascot is right for you and your company. Do a little research to see if your consumers or audience would be receptive to one. If your brand is fun, centers around kids, or already has a mascot, it’ll probably work. If your brand is more on the serious side or deals with tougher issues, it may not a good fit. Also, choose the right representation….the Mayhem character works great for Allstate, but is more of a brand villain. (Opposite of say, the energizer bunny) But it works…plus, he makes insurance a lot more fun. Make choices with your mascot that will resonate with your audience.

Just like real people, a mascot should have a personality. Some quirks. Some fun…but stay in character, once you have created your character. Nothing is more confusing than a mascot who changes personalities overnight. Can’t think of any? There’s a reason….nothing kills a mascot faster than not being consistent.

And just to prove that the mascot idea can work, take Progressive’s Flo. Her Facebook page has over 4 million fans and growing! So don’t hesitate to take a page out of an old, vintage marketing book. Some tried-and-true ideas still work just fine.

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rachael@doukasmedia.com