Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto and Goofy are amongst the many household names that shouldn’t sound foreign to either you or me – but the character that takes the cake is none other than Mickey Mouse. He doesn’t need a formal introduction because somehow in one way or another, every human being that has walked upon this earth just fascinatingly happens to know his existence (be it consciously or subconsciously).
Behind the most beloved mouse is the mascot of the Walt Disney Company worth a whopping US$130 billion as of year 2019. He is the brain child of the company’s founder and cartoonist, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. Believe it or not, Mortimer was the original name he was going to go with but thankfully Walt Disney’s wife Lillian found it an earsore and so they ended up renaming him as Mickey Mouse… Which stuck with him to this very day!
Mascots are everywhere. There are the old-timers – McDonald’s Ronald McDonald, KFC’s Colonel Sanders, M&M’s Spokescandies and more and also endless new-timers that are springing up like no tomorrow. There are just so many of them. Here’s why they are so rampant in our times today.
Does a Mascot Suit Your Brand Personality?
Mascots are fictitious representatives for brands, companies, sports teams and organisations. Would you rather visit a website filled with complex industry jargon or another with a fun mascot and lots of content that is written in a personable and easily understandable way? The vast majority of people would pick the latter in a heartbeat, because humans are proven to be visual creatures. If your business provides services that could be classified as boring or difficult to comprehend, consider harnessing on a mascot to make your brand more relatable and fun!
First of all, mascots (when done right) are memorable – they help make your brand become more recognisable. Consistently using the right mascot can help your company stand out from the crowd. Those that are especially bubbly and outgoing are exactly what makes them likeable. Brands strive to reach a point where they can get recognised easily just by the looks of their mascots. These characters must have the capability to engage with the target audience and exemplify the brand’s personality. They are also extremely hard to ignore – how could one see past an adorable mascot and not smile at them or take a few snapshots with them? Let us take the successful Mickey Mouse as our golden case study. He is irresistibly fun, adorable, and comical such that before you even realise it, he would already have made a sharp turn into our hearts. He represents what the Walt Disney Company stands for – fun-loving, magical and all things nice.
If your company does not have a mascot yet, ask yourself a simple question: which of your company’s values can be represented by a mascot; be it an animal, an object or a person? Is it a value the general public or your target audience can relate to? If your answer is yes, then you should get to work now. People tend to pay more attention to something that is relatable to their lives. Represent your core values with a suitable mascot and your brand will be staying put for good. If you are unsure on how to go about conceptualising a mascot for your brand, come up with a few adjectives how you would like to be perceived by your target audience; thereafter, pick a mascot that represents those adjectives – yes, it is as simple as that! You want your mascot’s personality to mirror your brand personality, after all. Let us look at a few of the most recognisable mascots in our everyday lives below.
1. Sembcorp – Toria the Frog
One mascot that turns up without fail every morning in your friendly neighbourhood is the smiley frog on the Sembcorp waste trucks. Her name is Toria, in case you did not know that! It is a shortened version of the Latin word litoria which is a tree frog genus commonly found in Singapore. The mascot was the centre of Sembcorp’s massive publicity programme in the early 2000s that involved over 400 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools to encourage the recycling of everyday household waste.
This is in fact conceptualised by Concept Lab back in 2001 and subsequently refreshed later in 2012 as a visual representation of Sembcorp Waste Management and also serves as an instantly recognisable icon for the need of environmental awareness. This adorable frog has adorned Sembcorp’s fleet of vehicles and has made numerous appearances at their events for the past two decades and has become a familiar sight with both the young and old.
Toria the Frog
2. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru – Kaku the Hermit Crab
Nowadays, people are gaining more and more awareness on environmental issues such as global warming due to widespread campaigns and marketing taking place around the globe (also, thanks Greta Thunberg!). One of the many organisations that deeply support the cause is Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, a luxury resort situated in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Kaku the Hermit Crab (short for kakuni; which means crab in the Maldives’ national language, Dhivehi) might just be one of the cutest journalists you will ever come across in your lifetime. He is the resort’s resident journalist, a hermit crab that resides in the third hole on the island’s Palm Tree Road, and has recently picked up another career as a resident blogger as well! He represents a vision to making the world a greener place for the future generations to come in order the preserve the natural beauty of what surrounds the resort. Kaku is featured in the resort’s turndown cards and ‘reports’ on some of the most pressing environmental concerns that are affecting Mother Earth today. He even has his very own blogsite that touches on these concerns too. In each of these turndown cards, he speaks to various marine and land animals and enriches the readers with knowledge, news and tips that we can all take to secure the future of our planet for time to come.
Through numerous stories reported by Kaku and his interactions with other native land and marine fauna and flora that exemplify issues the environment faces on the daily, Kaku evolves into an extremely relatable mascot that both children and adults can empathise with, along with its dreamy illustrations and engaging storytelling. Kaku’s outlook and illustrations were recently refreshed by our lab to make him look timeless and more appealing to the crowd with a play on gentle and eye-pleasing colours. Check out his blog here at www.kakureefblog.com.
3. Parkway Cancer Centre – Sunny the Cancer Warrior
Fighting cancer is an extremely intimidating process and more often than not leaves patients feeling utterly despaired, drained and lonesome in their battles against the disease. This was the reason why we created Sunny the Cancer Warrior for CanHOPE of Parkway Cancer Centre, to instil hope, patience and courage in patients on their cancer healing journey. Sunny is the ambassador for the ‘I Am A Cancer Warrior’ campaign to motivate cancer patients and their loved ones as they face head-on and fight cancer.
Sunny lives up to his name as he strives to bring light to the patients and provide them with the encouragement and motivation that they deeply need, giving them strength and support to move on with their treatments and daily lives.
4. The Ascott Limited – Cubby the Teddy
What else but a cuddly teddy bear could easily grasp the hearts of children? Cubby was first created specifically for the Ascott Kids Club by Concept Lab as an identity for the club in the group’s plethora of serviced residences. With Cubby’s adorable and bubbly personality, it came as no surprise that it was so well-loved and well-received.
As Cubby was already so ingrained in the minds of the guests, The Ascott took this chance to extend him to a pair of green Cubbies (one male, one female) as advocates for the group’s green initiatives.
These anthropomorphised teddy bears go deeper than just looking cute on the surface – in fact, anthropomorphism plays a significant role in advocating conservation. Anthropomorphism highlights similarities between animals and humans, which helps enhance our empathy and care towards Mother Nature…
To date, Cubby is now a global explorer. He serves as a personification of the Ascott brand for children in order to help them better engage and nurture the next generation of global travellers!
5. Concept Lab Communications – Glyph the Experiment
Our very own in-house mascot is Glyph the Experiment. He is not exactly an alien or a monster, but a superhero of our lab! His creation was caused by a sudden spark in the midst of a laboratory experiment, signifying Concept Lab’s unmoving vision to keep experimenting out of the box. Glyph embodies the ever-experimenting and heroic nature of Concept Lab’s DNA. It is the little subliminal details like this that make a mascot all the more special and dearer to our hearts.
Inspired to Create a Brand Mascot?
Through these real-life examples, do you feel inspired enough to finally embark on a journey towards creating your very own brand mascot? Do not underestimate the power of a simple mascot… As quoted from Walt Disney in 1954, he said this – “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”
Contact us to discover the possibilities now – let us start somewhere and we will make it happen for you.