We love a good mascot.
In the coming months, we’re taking a closer look at mascots – the faces behind many of the world’s biggest brands – to explore the reasons why they’re important and why, fundamentally, bringing character to your brand is a great thing.
We’re kicking things off by taking a closer look at four of our favourites… read on!
Image source: The New Yorker
On paper, Gritty is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League team. In reality? He’s so much more than that. Gritty – who could easily be a close relative of Animal’s from The Muppets – is nothing short of a clementine-coloured vision, strutting the streets and pitches of Philly in his Flyers regalia, dancing with the crowd and other mascots and even flying above them when he can. At an intimidating seven feet tall, and with the ability to “blow smoke out of his ears”, he’s already won hearts the world over… including ours.
So, what makes him so special?: We reckon it’s a combination of Gritty’s model looks, outrageous moves and strong internet and media presence that’s made him such an international hit. His social feeds are a constant stream of hilarious memes, “poems” and Flyers’ promos. Off the internet, he’s appeared at prolific shows and events including Conan and the Webbys. It doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere soon – and personally speaking, we’re more than happy to remain his loyal “gritizens”.
In a nutshell: He’s topical, he’s funny and he’s everywhere.
There’s not a heart in the world that isn’t warmed by the mere mention of Mario – the Brooklyn born, mustachioed hero with cap-throwing abilities that deserve their own Olympic category. Since first appearing in a Donkey Kong game in 1981, he quickly became one of the world’s biggest names in gaming. In fact, he was one of the first video game characters to be inducted into the Walk of Game in 2005. Since his creation, he’s appeared in over 200 games, including the Mario series, which is cited to be the best-selling video games franchise ever. Did someone say “megastar”?
So, what makes him so special?: Everybody knows Mario and his story. We know how his heart aches for Princess Peach, and that he continuously saves her from the heinous Bowser. We know his intentions are pure – he acts out of love – which makes him an extremely likeable figure and, for many, a role model in today’s world.
But we think that there’s more to it than that. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and a lot of us became acquainted with Mario in our youth. We cannot help but associate him, then, with our warm and fuzzy feelings of growing up – feelings that return whenever we pick up the controller. He’s a classic figure, and as long as video games are getting made, he’ll endure.
In a nutshell: A pure hero with a nostalgic pull = the perfect recipe for an impactful mascot.
Image source: Food Republic
The Michelin Man – or “Bibendum” – is a true testament to the power of content marketing when done right. Created in 1898, he’s been a recognisable figure for over 120 years, and has humanised Michelin tyres by giving them traits, characteristics and emotions. Such is his reach and influence that he helped Michelin to break into the travel and tourism world, popularising Michelin Guides, Michelin stars and more. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Michelin is now the most powerful tyre brand in the entire world. We’d be willing to bet it’s in no small part thanks to the popularity of their curvaceous friend.
So, what makes him so special?: Let’s be honest. You would never know about Michelin tyres without the Michelin Man. He put them on the map, and from there, opened the door to a slew of other opportunities for the Michelin company.
But he’s not always been the same way. Early drawings of the Michelin Man show him donning glasses and a cigar. He later evolved to become more cartoonish and friendly, and nowadays, has adopted more of a “macho” look. He’s evolved – ensuring that while he’s remained recognisable over the decades, he’s also stayed relatable and relevant to a modern audience.
In a nutshell: Simple and adaptable, the Michelin Man has been able to “roll” with the times (geddit?).
We had to throw our own mascot into the mix! Call us biased, but we love our company bear. He’s memorable, one-of-a-kind and brings the ethos of our brand to life through various expressions, props and poses. Those who see Jammy know, at a glance, what our vibe is – and brands can glean that we’re bound to bring a little something different to their content marketing. Winning. (Plus – side note – Jammy is a really sharp dresser. We’re pretty sure bowties are due to make a comeback, thanks to him.)
So, what makes him so special?: First of all, Jammy is a heartbreaker. It’s just impossible not to fall in love with him. Beyond that, his friendly persona and collection of content objects (including a pen and a book) make him the ideal representative for our brand, capturing our spirit and what we do in just a few simple images.
In a nutshell: Unique, sweet and armed with a variety of writing props, Jammy’s got what it takes to stand the test of time, and solidify us as a recognisable name in the content industry. Watch this space!
Should you create a mascot for your brand? What are the arguments for and against doing so? Find out in July… and in the meantime, check out what else we have to say over at our company blog.