What pops up in your mind when you think of KFC or McDonalds?
Delicious junk food? Or, maybe their logos; that big yellow “M ” and KFC written in red.
But wait a minute, did I miss something?
Did you also visualize that old man’s sketch with KFC? And that red head clown with McDonalds? That’s what a mascot does, it triggers your emotional stimulus and memories.
A mascot helps a brand connect with its customers. It not only sparks up this connectivity whenever you see it, but it also works great when it comes to marketing and advertising of a brand or a product. Commonly, logos are affiliated with brand identity and it’s perfectly true.
A logo is not just a symbol or name of your business. In its truest meaning, a logo represents the type of your business, your business values and is the face of your firm.
What is a Mascot
A mascot is a materialization of a brand’s personality. It can be in the form of an object, animal, or avatar which is symbolic in nature. It is created to facilitate brand identification.
People feel an emotional attachment to a product because of its mascot. This brand awareness and recognition tactic has earned crazy success, and the concept goes back to the 19th century.
One more thing; there are commonly two types of mascots. The most common one is “character mascots” and the other is “logo mascots”. Logo mascots are usually used by news and entertainment media outlets. Moreover, logo mascots are also used in games.
While you can create one yourself, there are various professionals out there who can create mascot logo designs for your brand to help represent your business in the best possible way.
You can even use your mascot on your business’s branded stationery to help you add a genuine uniqueness to your brand’s identity.
Let’s dive in and look at the list of the 10 most famous mascots in branding
1. Mr. Colonel Harland David Sanders (KFC)
The first up in my list is KFC. The mascot for KFC was designed using the resemblance of the owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mr. Colonel Harland David Sanders. No one would have thought that a human-faced mascot could be so memorable to consumers spread around the globe.
This mascot was created in 1998, soon after the death of Colonel Sanders. The mascot portrays his smiling face with glasses. It shows him wearing a bow and apron, signifying him as the chef.
The Colonel Sanders KFC mascot is one of the most popular and successful ones in the world.
2. Ronald McDonald (McDonald’s)
McDonald’s is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world. The first appearance of McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, was in the 1960s.
It was a red-headed clown with the symbol of McDonald’s. Everyone knows the cheerful and happy face of the clown, welcoming you into the restaurant.
Over the years, the significant features of the mascot remained the same, more or less, but the attire evolved. The yellow jumpsuit was replaced by yellow cargo pants with the symbolic initial “M.”
3. Julio Pringles
If you are into snacks, like most of us, then you are familiar with the mustachioed man on the Pringles pack. Did you know that the Pringles mascot has a name? It’s Julio Pringles.
The mascot is quite well designed. Its face resembles the shape of the crisps inside the pack. Since the crisps have a uniform shape, the perfect mustache of Mr. Pringles gives a feeling of a balanced blend of taste, professionalism, and maturity.
The mascot had a few minor cosmetic changes over the years, but it is still recognizable anywhere on the globe as the face of Pringles.
4. M&M’s SpokesCandies
Mars introduced six spokescandies as Mascots for their product “M&Ms”. The red one was first introduced in 1954 and was followed by others. The yellow one was introduced when M&M’s launched peanut filled chocolate. M&M’s launched new mascots to represent the new flavors, themes, and colors.
The vibrant, colorful mascots make them quite appealing to kids and teenagers.
While red, orange, yellow, and blue are the male mascots, green and brown are the female. Jon Lovitz voices the red mascot and J.K.Simmons voices the yellow one.
The red and yellow M&M’s are the most iconic of all. They are a very dynamic duo with a perfect blend of humor and reliability.
Mr.Muscle is represented by a muscular, tough guy who has the ability to tidy up your messy home. The mascot is owned by S.C.Johnson and most people remember him for his magical cleaning skills. He represents himself as a superhero to clean up a mess within minutes.
Mr. Muscle used a powerful weapon (the detergent) to clean up any mess. This tactic became a great success for the brand. With a permanent spot in people’s memories, no one can forget Mr.Muscle when it comes to cleaning a house.
Mario is the most famous mascot when it comes to video games. The short, mustached, fair-looking plumber first appeared in a series of video games. Initially, he was a popular video game character but soon became the face of the company.
This red-hat character gained popularity very quickly and was recognizable all over the world.
Nintendo used his popularity quite well and made Mr. Mario the company’s face. It gave their company’s growth a magical boost.
7. Mickey Mouse
When you think back on your childhood, cartoons are likely the best memories that pop up.
And, when we talk about cartoons, Mickey Mouse is the one seen by all, at least once. It is the oldest and most famous mascot.
Mickey Mouse is the official mascot of Walt Disney Company. The mascot is still seen at many kids events. Whether it is cartoons, movies, shows, theme parks, or fan clubs, Mickey Mouse often plays his part.
8. Mr. Peanut
Mr. Peanut is the mascot of Planters, designed by a young illustrator in 1916. Planters is a famous American snack food company.
The mascot was designed using the shape of a peanut. The shell of the peanut was dressed with the formal clothing of that century; a hat, white gloves, spats, monocle, and cane. Not many changes were made in the design, but the company added bow tie, pocket watch, and some cufflinks later on.
The company gave a voice to the mascot in 2010 using Robert Downey Jr. which helped to increase its sales.
9. Chester Cheetah
Being a snack lover, Cheetos reminds me of a funky, funny, and joyful cheetah. This infamous character is the mascot of Cheetos, one of the most renowned brand mascots of all time.
The mascot also appeared in video games made by Sega and Super Nintendo. It debuted in 1986 and went through many changes in overall appearance, but the basic look of this cheerful cheetah is known to everyone born in the 1990s.
10. Monopoly (Uncle Pennybags)
Uncle Pennybags is the mascot of a very famous board game, Monopoly. It first appeared in the year 1936, depicting an elderly man with a mustache, who wears a suit with a bow tie and hat.
The formal name of the mascot is Rich Uncle Pennybags. Still, it is also known as the Monopoly man or Mr. Monopoly. The character was designed by Dan Fox and received his name ten years after its first appearance.
Putting it all together…
People tend to think of mascots as an outdated tactic. In reality, with the advent of digital media (especially social media), the mascot concept is experiencing a new renaissance with a lot more competitive advantages.
With the rise of smartphones and social media, you can easily build and amplify meaningful connections using brand mascots. You might have a Facebook page with a Brand mascot. Experts are of the opinion that a mascot page can become popular quite rapidly as compared to the brand’s own business page.
So, do not brush off the idea of a mascot, labeling it as “old school”. Think of it as a vintage concept whose value has only grown with the passage of time.