Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brands Learning College Lesson

I'm finding this article via the PRSA Issues and Trends interesting: Mascots Are Brands' Best Social Accessories.

For those of us old enough to remember, everyone had a cute mascot to promote their products like Tony the Tiger or Charley the Tuna. Eventually, it burned out as the Baby Boomers grew up, but . . . . their brand affiliations were somewhat established during that youth period.

The resurgence is tagged to social media, and the intimacy, casual conversation message and fun aspect.

Two things.

You're telling American universities something they figured out early, and the better ones have begun to ratchet up. Check out the institutional logos of the University of Texas, University of Michigan and LSU. Hmmm. Those look a LOT like the athletic marks.

Because once you get the ivory tower over it, they know the best sales pitch for the school is the friendly mascot. Everyone loves the mascot.

Second thing -- why didn't anyone ascribe the return of the mascot to the aging of the late Boomers?

Frankly, social has nothing to do with the revival in my opinion. Yes, the mascot makes a friendly face for the messaging, but this is more of a revival of the look and feel of the late 1960s and early 1970s fashion.

Mazda's new SKYACTIV commercial. The Blake Griffin 70s track suit look of his Kia commercials. The dominance of the Mad Men phenomenon.

And what was part and parcel of that advertising age?

Sorry Charlie, only the most retro get to be a part of the new social.

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