Is Your Mascot Marketing Program Going the Full Mile?
As you know, mascots are an excellent tool for enhancing your brand’s relatability and spreading awareness about your organization. You made a Facebook page for your mascot, and it has 43 likes already! You brought him to all the local events AND held a naming contest. What now?
Some things to consider:
- What type of organization is your mascot promoting and what kind of services do they provide? If it’s a bar, you might want to sell pint glasses with your mascot’s face! If it’s a service company of some kind, you could give out promotional magnets with your mascot’s face and your company’s contact info! A BBQ pit might think about having their putting their mascot’s face on napkins!
- What is your demographic? If it is primarily seniors you may not want to focus on drumming up mascot enthusiasm on social media, as your clientele may not be comfortable with using a computer. If your demographic is small children you may want to focus on something physical that they can touch and make a connection with, such as a stuffed toy.
- How recognizable is your mascot? Is he a household name? (Think the Energizer Bunny) or is he a recently conceived idea? If he’s brand new, think about mediums that will help you drum up awareness and excitement for your character. This could buttons or magnets for him to hand out at events, or perhaps you could feature his face on your organization’s website! If he’s a household name, start thinking about additional ways to keep him in the spotlight!
With a little creative thinking you can ensure your mascot is seen by your clientele and they will be more likely to recognize your character on the street, in parades, and elsewhere!
Sharon Stone from Sacramento Children’s Museum shares her mascot marketing experience: “We decided to go 100% with Leo as our branding. He was incorporated into our logo, ads, exhibits, and we even use his colour green on our walls. “Leo is often incorporated into our graphics. So he is included on all our events. If we have a night out at a baseball game — Leo is included. When we promote story times – Leo is included. We have one graphic designer who creates all the Leo looks.” Good thinking, Sharon!
In the summer of 2014, Port Saint John was contacted by regional libraries who asked them to be part of their summer reading club. They were faced with a problem! Paula Copeland shares: “When we agreed we discovered that their audience was more the pre-K to Grade 2 age demographic and most of our material was too advanced even for us to read aloud to them. While the first step in reaching this audience was developing a character they could identify with in the story, the second step was an illustrated book and the third step led to a mascot.” In this instance, Paula employed keen marketing savvy to interweave a graphic character, a book, and a real life mascot to help promote Port Saint John and educate simultaneously.
The Alberta Motor Association created a calendar, and featured their mascot Teddy doing something different for each month. Ann King, AMA’s marketing administration assistant shares: “We decided it would be fun to have Teddy as the star of the calendar so we set up a photo-shoot and produced the piece right out of our own in-house creative team.” What an fun way to engage with their customers!
Paule Pachter, of Long Island Cares, has had a lot of fun using his mascot, AsparaGus, as a marketing tool! He had a professional photoshoot done, created a food truck with AsparaGus’s picture on it, and even created a stuffed toy! Paule shares: “We had stuffed toys made of AsparaGus that we market to support our children’s hunger awareness initiatives.”
Other Fun Marketing Ideas
- Develop a kid’s webpage (or a separate website for kids) with games and fun that your mascot “participates” in.
- Use your mascot as the theme for your online store. Energizer has the “Bunny Centre” with media, backstory and an attached store for “Fun ways to Wear the Hare” (Feel like wearing the hare? See their store here: http://www.energizer.ca/energizer-bunny).
- Use your mascot in banners or promotional information on your website to drum up excitement.
- Ever consider turning your mascot into a stuffed animal? He’s already as cute as heck — why not sell him as a huggable toy?
- Clothing? Put your mascot’s face on a t-shirt with a cute slogan and you have a line of kid’s (and possibly adult’s) clothing.
- Use your mascot in your print ads! What’s more likely to catch your eye on a busy subway: a stock photo or a cartoon of a fun mascot?
- Incorporate your mascot into your direct mail. Ten bucks says people will find it harder to throw out a piece of mail with a fun cartoon on it, than one without. Perhaps your mascot will even inspire your creative thinking when it comes to direct mail.
- Give out free company promotional materials featuring your mascot. Think: bookmarks, water bottles, magnets, keychains, stickers etc. Did someone say freebies?!
There are so many marketing opportunities out there, so figure out what works for you! Representing your mascot into multiple mediums is a fantastic way to spread awareness about your brand on the web, in print media, and through promotional and for-purchase materials! Mascots are more accessible than sales jargon, so you simply can’t lose by using your mascot in as many campaign materials as possible. As our friend Paule Pachter from Long Island Cares reminds us: “Don’t have any limitations when thinking about creative ways to market your mascot.” Thanks Paule, our sentiments exactly!