Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fuzz & Foam: Marketing with mascots

The large, plasma screen with a video of Rex the Dinosaur dancing and miming has to be cleaned several times a day because so many children touch and kiss the screen.

Rex is the mascot for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Rex is tall and round with a rainbow belly and a really big tail. Rex gets lotsa love!

Rex is "woven into every thread" of the museum's marketing says, Lisa Townsend, VP of Marketing. He is a vibrant, everyday part of the museum's interaction with its guests.

Rex welcomes children and families to the museum. When it's time to close the museum, Rex has the "Rex Parade". Starting at the top floor of the museum, Rex leads the Rex parade down the ramp and out the door. Children wave flags and skip out of the museum, feeling quite happy and important because they were in the Parade!

What kind of Return on Investment does a mascot really bring?

There are some ways to measure this. You can tally how many mascot plushes/shirts/caps are sold at the store and online. But mascots really bring more than simply dollars out and dollars in return on investment. They bring brand loyalty.

When a mascot is around everyone in the mascots range becomes part of each other's community. Mascot mean fun. When your brand is connected with fun and community, your mascot is making friends, and the mascots friends become friends of the brand, and friends of the brand become, well, loyal customers

Your target audience is forever expanding when a mascot enters the picture.

Pharaoh Rex
at the opening of the Tut Exhibit
@ the Chidren's Museum of Indianapolis

Monday, July 6, 2009

Warm Fuzzies & Cold Beer

They may seem funny and well, goofy, but Aha! A mascot is a true, heartfelt marketing tool. This is the organization's representative. The piece of the marketing puzzle that really touches the customer and fan.

They're goofy and yet, they represent brands of integrity and strength. Brands that truly want bring people together in community and goodwill.

When people have a rollicking, good time in the presence of a mascot, they look at the brand the mascot represents with kind eyes and an open heart.Mascot are the warm fuzzies of marketing! They reach out to target audiences with enthusiasm. Mascots invite all to be part of the family in an open, non-ironic way.

I have a cabinet full of RedGold products. I only use Dawn to wash dishes at home and at the AvantGarb. This summer, when we drink beer, it will be Miller and fans at Portland Beaver games will be inclined to buy Miller this summer after seeing the Miller Racing Beer Cans race.

I'm completely loyal to TiVo, Who wouldn't want a Tivo after seeing the TiVo character's antics at marathons and the ball park?...and I cheers all teams and schools with mascots.

I cheer on the Davita KAT Walks, I love driving on E&B Paving's newly paved roads---well, you get the picture.

Mascots are the beating heart of marketing.