They are more effective than celebrities and can create instant, personified brand recognition for your company. We’re talking about brand mascots and why your company should consider adopting one. Here are five iconic brand mascots and five lessons you can learn from them.
The Michelin Man
Known as one of the world’s oldest mascots, the Michelin Man, otherwise known by his formal name of Bibendum, has been around since way back in 1894. This brand mascot has garnered a familiarity in modern-day culture. Everyone from kids to their parents know this big, white, bubbly character as the Michelin Man. His presence has directly impacted the success of Michelin when it comes to selling consumers new tires for their cars.
Coca-Cola Polar Bear
Coca-Cola’s friendly bear has been around since 1922 and is considered an important aspect of the soda king’s brand. The iconic brand mascot makes special appearances during special events, including the Olympics and during Christmas, to help the company sell merchandise and product. Not only has the polar bear inspired consumers to drink Coke, but has also led Coca-Cola to partner with the World Wildlife Fund to raise millions of dollars in order to save endangered polar bears. Coke has shown that company mascots aren’t just props to inspire consumers to buy products, but rather vehicles to help champion causes for nonprofits and charities to make the world a better place.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse
Like many other brand mascots, the iconic Mickey Mouse has been around for decades. Dreamed up by cartoonist Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse came to life in 1930. Today, however, the little mouse has appeared in more than 130 movies, helping to promote the Disney brand like no one else. When asked why Mickey Mouse works so well as a brand mascot, Disney once said, “When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it’s because he’s so human, and that is the secret of his popularity,” according to Branding magazine. Consider Disney’s answer as to why his iconic brand mascot resonates with so many people when developing one for your company.
The happy clown, clad in yellow and red, has motivated millions of hungry customers to spend their money at the big, golden arches — otherwise known as McDonald’s. The iconic fast-food chain first launched Ronald McDonald to the masses more than 51 years ago. However, a recent relaunch and facelift, per se, didn’t work so well for the McDonald’s brand. In 2014, McDonald’s introduced a “new” Ronald McDonald — and the reviews weren’t so hot.
What can your company learn from this marketing mishap? Don’t change a good thing. Business Insider reported that without the marketing switch-up, Ronald McDonald still remains one of the most iconic, recognizable brand mascots, amongst others like Betty Crocker, Chuck E. Cheese and Mr. Clean.
The GEICO Gecko
A Simply Measured study found that GEICO’s little, green gecko is one of the most popular brand mascots today. The green gecko even has his own Twitter account. Like Mickey Mouse and many others on this list, GEICO’s little, green gecko is used to personify the company’s brand. And it seems to be working — and working quite well.