There was a time when almost every household product globally was associated with a mascot but over the years either some of the brands have dropped their mascots or rarely use them as a part of marketing documents (Note: only marketing documents, not products)
Since childhood I have been seeing them around and thought people could easily relate to the word mascot (the face that speaks a thousand words). But my earlier blog was an eye opener where I realized very few people today understand or relate to mascots. Maybe the difference is in observation a person builds since childhood.
Over the years, I saw the mascots fading and then came the trend when everyone starting creating a mascot for their brand. Immediately looking at them, it just clicked to me how mascots have moved to web in this web2.0 era. My earlier post was targeted at Website Mascots, so here’s the flashback of some mascots which existed during our growing years. Going back to the memory lane might be interesting for some of us, and make us more observant in today’s life.
Telecom Brand Mascot which was allowed to be a part of lifestyle products. Till now Mascots have been strongly visible on merchandising items only. Vodafone is the only brand which allowed its mascot ‘ZooZoo’ on products to a lifestyle brand.
Domestic and Industrial Paints:
The famous Indian Cartoonist R K Laxman’s creation of Mascot for Asian Paints ‘Gattu’
‘Goody the Tiger’ – friendly and smiling mascot remained with Nerolac paints for 30 strong years, till company planned for an image makeover.
Food & Beverages:
Pepsico licensed the popular cartoon character Fido Dido worldwide for its lemon drink ’7Up’ . The sleek young funky character became extremely popular though its animated television ad series and soon was seen on lunch boxes, schoolbags, video games, stationary items, T-shirts, 7Up cans/ bottles and is additionally available as mobile wallpapers too. FD with its universal appeal has also been one of my favorites since childhood.
Being in the industry from 1988 this trendy character has come a long way and is still going strong. In the web2.0 time FD has created its space on Twitter, Youtube and Myspace to name a few.
Amul - the largest food company in India, launched the first Amul hoarding during 1967 in Mumbai. Mumbaikars witnessed the hoarding sporting a young girl in red polka dot frock with ‘Utterly butterly delicious’ jingle. Amul mascot messaging continues to be subjective till date with a tone of humor. For those interested to read the complete story of Amul
Jollibee the bee mascot for a fast food chain of Philippines, introduced by the brand in 1980 is the most widely recognized character in the Philippines.
McDonald’s ‘Ronald’ our very own friendly clown and famous name after Santa, has been the most recognized mascot among kids and elders. The smiling clown is often seen around McDonald’s doing tricks and playing with kids.
M&M’s colorful round shaped candies being a product of Mars originated in the United States around 1941. The computer animated “spokescandies” mascot was launched along with a new campaign commercial by M&M.
These digital characters were created in different colors representing different flavors like – ‘Yellow’ peanut candy mascot depicts the happy and innocent nature while ‘Red’ milk chocolate candy exhibited the ironic character.
Pillsbury Doughboy mascot was the brain child of Leo Burnett ad agency . The little dough chef is now seen globally on all the Pillsbury products, giggling and blinking his blue round eyes in the commercials for Pillsbury cookies, flours, pancake mix and many others.
Mr. Clean a brand of Proctor & Gamble is an household cleaner. The smiling muscular man with a ring in one ear, makes him resemble like genie spreading the magic in a whirl.
Kelvinator, a global brand came with an appealing tag line ‘the coolest one’ supported with penguin mascot lost its appeal when it got sold to Whirlpool. It was the sad ending of the coolest penguin.
‘Maharaja’ of Air India airlines, is a creation by JWT and became a famous identity of Indians overseas. The King of Mascots symbolizes ‘Maharaja’ (king) like treatment to the airline travelers.
Energizer’s pink bunny mascot beating a band continuously in a commercial grabbed the interest of users in North America but could not excite the Indian market. This is one brand which has different mascots for Europe and Australia – the pink bunny has been replaced with the muscular human like battery mascot, since these part of the globe were already running ads for the Duracell pink rabbit.
Commonwealth Games 2010 mascot was released in a special launch of stamps in India. The human like tiger mascot with folded hands is called ‘Shera’. The athletic skill with power and grace is what this mascot reflects.
Commonwealth Games 2006 held in Melbourne had Karak, the red tailed black cockatoo as their mascot
Atlanta Olympics for the year 1996 had ‘Izzy’ as the event mascot
Olympic Mascot for 1988 was ‘Hodori’
You can also see some more of Olympic mascots
Mascots for Software products:
Linux Mascot – The name of the penguin mascot is “Tux the Penguin”. The story goes that father of Linux (Linus Torvalds) mentioned his liking towards penguins, during the time when everyone was trying to invent a name for the operating system. Linus’ one statement stopped all speculations and the name was finalized. Interestingly in the linux community the name of someone that uses Linux is called a Penguinista.
I’ll keep adding more examples as and when I encounter them and in case you happen to find any, do shoot me an email or put a comment on this page, I’ll be delighted to publish it