A professional sports team could survive without its mascot. After all, Mr. Met doesn’t win a World Series. But could you say the same about a well-known brand?
Brands like Coca Cola and Old Spice stay in business because of their products, sure, but often it’s precisely their brand mascots that tend to keep their names in the limelight and keep people talking about their ads, commercials and products.
It’s often their brand mascots that feed the chatter about them across social media.
Stop for a second and think about your favorite brand. Chances are, it has a mascot. The following are some of the best of the best in marketing:
“Make sure you have insurance from Allstate, to avoid mayhem like me.”
The personification of disaster caught on quickly with the character Mayhem, played by Dean Winters.
He was falling on cars, starting fires and knocking over trees to show that anything and everything can happen to your car, so… umm… you might better protect it.
Better to be safe than sorry, right?
Polar Bears (Coca Cola)
The Coca Cola polar bears are a (mostly) Christmas classic.
They never utter a word in their commercials, but the cuddly bears still have an iconic association with the world’s most popular soda.
The characters first appeared in a 1922 advertisement, and Coca Cola continues to use them every year, with massive success.
Captain Morgan (Captain Morgan)
It’s clear the beloved rum company didn’t have to think too hard to come up with its frontman. I mean, whatever else would you associate with a name like Captain Morgan?
Nevertheless it does bear one of the most iconic poses of any brand mascot out there.
Captain Morgan capitalizes on this in its commercials with guys at the bar striking a familiar pose whenever a ‘manly’ feat is accomplished. Such as… downing five shots in a row perhaps?
Geico has tried its luck with a few different mascots.
Some have worked better than others, but most of them have been left behind in annals of history. But the star of the show will always be the Geico Gecko.
Between Dikembe and the Hump Day Camels, the tiny British Gecko popped up to represent the “15 minutes or less” car insurance company with style, finesse, and a strong association with the brand.
He’s managed to leave quite the impression, with no signs of retirement.
Are we seeing a pattern with insurance companies yet? They all seem to have a mascot these days (even State Farm has Jake … from State Farm), and Flo is the girl for Progressive.
Her bubbly personality and charming humor do well for the insurance company. The commercials are genuinely funny, and she has been used consistently in commercials for several years now.
The Kool-Aid Man (Kool-Aid)
Oh yeah! Now this one is an absolute classic.
This breaker of walls has represented the drink company for decades and is constantly being parodied on popular shows like “Family Guy” and in stand up sets from comedians such as Dane Cook.
It is funny how the children in those commercials are completely fine with their homes getting bashed in though. Guess that’s just the joy of being a kid. hehe
The Pillsbury Doughboy (Pillsbury)
Another classic mascot with a somewhat creepy belly-poke laugh comes from the Pillsbury Doughboy.
The younger generation might confuse this one with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters,” but that would be incorrect.
The Doughboy was once the first thing America thought of when fresh biscuits came to mind (along with the yummy yeast-y smell) — and Pillsbury still uses him on its packaging today.
Terry Crews (Old Spice)
Sometimes brand mascots help to change the image of companies. Terry Crews from the latest Old Spice commercials is one of the loudest and most well known examples of this.
Old Spice used to be a more, well, boring company that you probably associated with your dad’s cologne. Or in my case, with your granddaddy’s cologne, but due to its rebranding in the 2000s with characters like Terry Crews, it completely revived the company.
Guess there’s something to be said for a bit of sprucing up the old image.
Over to You
Any iconic brand mascots that come to your mind not mentioned here? I could probably think of a few more. Ronald McDonald… Wendy… that white and black speckled dog they used for so long with the Target store. How about you? Drop ’em in the comments below.