If you looked up the definition of what a mascot is in a traditional English dictionary you’d be pointed to an animal or a costume of an animal, but in this day and age a mascot doesn’t explicitly have to be a live animal or a costume which resembles one. We’re going to discuss what forms a modern day mascot can take and what you’d need to do to keep the buzz around it alive in order to effectively deploy the mascot route with your marketing.
If you are going to go with a live animal though, you’ll have to make plans for life after it has moved on from this world because that day is definitely going to come. In the case of something like the Bull Terrier Target used as their mascot, albeit just for a specific marketing campaign, the character and personality of that specific terrier made it the perfect mascot to build certain brand campaigns around, but I can bet you a sizeable amount of money the marketing team would have their work cut out for them if they wanted to replace the original canine with a another one, even of the same breed.
It could work, but then they’d have to change quite a few things around to accommodate the unique personality the new dog would have in relation to the original one and the public would definitely be wise to everything.
In a case such as this, although it may come across as a bit morbid, the inevitable death of the live animal used as the mascot could be used to further endear brand loyalists to the brand by playing on that death. I mean it’s not like brands aren’t already emotionally blackmailing us all the time with their marketing campaigns in any case…
Anyway, getting back to the subject of modern day mascots, the simple deployment of some creativity in the graphics design and animation department could make for all you’d need to create yourself a mascot with an unlimited lifespan. It can be an animal if you wish for it to be, but it would be better if it was something completely new – a creature which nobody has ever seen before.
Even something like an everyday object which has had some life breathed into it is okay I guess, like how Microsoft’s office assistant was a talking paperclip…
Important – your mascot will have to have a unique personality which doesn’t necessarily explicitly mirror that of one specific person within the operation, like the owner/founder maybe, regardless of how marketable their personality is. It would have to be more general, for example if it’s a funny mascot then it would have to have a generally funny sense of humour and not a sense of humour that can be linked to one specific person.
As far as putting the mascot to work goes, something like a social media page “run” by this mascot will do, whether they’re just there to spread brand awareness by perhaps offering funny social commentary or indeed if they’re there to deal with clients directly.