The power of Brand Characters

Many but not all brands use a character/mascot or recognisable face to help consumers relate to a brand…instantly making them recognisable (Think Ronald McDonald here) Some are decades old and some fall by the wayside.

According to a study by The Moving Picture Company it found that “advertising with characters and brand mascots not only has a long-term effectiveness, but can facilitate stronger brand engagement, increase profit and share of voice and create a deeper emotional connection with consumers”.

The use of a mascot can increase market share by 41% (MPC)

Using characters such as Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot can increase market share by 41% (MPC)  compared with 29.7% for a push not featuring a character.

According to brand agency This Way Up characters that connect clearly to the values and brands they front up cut through way more effectively ie Captain Birdseye delivers the daily catch, M & M colourful characters.

Not all characters have to likeable, the Pepparami “animal” is portrayed as aggressive and forthright, Go Compares opera singing front man is divisive but has provided a distinctive and instantly recognisable character.

Celebrity endorsed characters can be less believable as they can often represent multiple brands meaning their endorsement and consumer trust is watered down and weaker. Cardi B represents both Pepsi and Reebok.

Sentimentality encourages trust and recognition with characters from childhood continuing connection with brands. Some of the most recognised characters have been around for years ie Frosties – Tony The Tiger. On the other hand other characters have not stood the test of changing times and values such as the Oxo family and PG Tips chimps

As societal attitudes have changed many characters have been left behind; Uncle ben has re-aligned its marketing strategy. The obesity crisis has ended many characters such as cartoon mascots on cereal packaging.

The Grocer has named captain Birdseye as the most iconic advertising character on British TV who has been on our screens for 55 years closely followed by Cadbury’s chocolate frog Freddo, Aldi’s Kevin The Carrot and Marks and Spencer’s Percy Pig.

According to The Grocer “More memorable than a slogan and more reliable than celebrities, mascots have been ‘visceral shortcuts’ for grocery brands seeking cut-though for years.”

Top 10 telly ad icons and when they were created

1. Captain Birdseye, Birds Eye – 1967

2. Freddo the Frog, Mondelez/Cadbury – 1973

3. Kevin the Carrot, Aldi – 2016

4. Coco the Monkey, Kellogg’s – 1963

5. M&Ms, Mars Wrigley – 1954

6. Julius Pringle, Kellogg’s – 1967

7. Bunny, Duracell – 1973

8. Percy Pig, Marks & Spencer – 1992

9. Peperami Animal, Jack Link’s – 1991

10. Aunt Bessie, Nomad Foods – 1995

If you need help with planning your TV or Video On demand adverts (mascot or not) please contact [email protected]

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