Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mascots as Community Organizers

Where does community spontaneously happen? Where do we bump shoulders with strangers? Where do we just get silly!

When we're in the presence of a mascot, that's where!

Where mascots are, a community emerges. People gather. 

Roche Diagnostics - Accu-Chek Peforma insulin meter at diabetes camp in Venezuela
It doesn't take great talent, superior intellect or an educated eye to joke, to have fun and to pass the time of day in the presence of a mascot. When a mascot is around we have a reason to connect.

A mascot is the perfect, goofy and generous host.

While we may think a mascot is merely a marketing tool, really, a mascot is a hand extended in community. 
Any organization that puts in the long hours of imaginative, strategic planning, design collaboration and dollars into a mascot program is really holding out their hand in joy, trust and community.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

9/11 & Billy Blazes

I got a call from a guy at Fisher - Price at the end of July, 2001. 
Fisher-Price had some action heroes, The Rescue Heroes. They wanted a mascot of Billy Blazes - the fireman character for the rescue heroes. They were planning a big Rescue Hero event at FAO Schwartz or Toys R Us - I don't quite remember. 

We made the mascot and sent it off. It must have been the end of August 2001.
The mascot was very popular ---all of the  Rescue Heroes were very popular.

Then the planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11.

Billy Blazes became a symbol of faith and hope for young children in 2001.

A popular action figure became a beacon of hope and bravery.

We have never had a mascot experience like the Billy Blazes experience.

It was an honor to make the mascots. It was also a touching moment to work with Fisher-Price.

In working with and creating mascots for companies, organizations and teams, I always get a sense of their true tenderness and goodwill. In working with Fisher-Price in September of 2001, I came to know the soft, beating hearts that are at the core of all great companies.

James Beaver making hats

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gotta love where you work

Location, location, location!

The cow chairs, Karen, and lotsa pipes & wheels
AvantGarb is in the coolest building in the United States, and Turner Woodard is a pretty cool landlord, as well.

Our building, The Stutz Business Center is an old, car factory. Stutz Bearcats used to be made here---if you look in the upper left corner, you can see fragments of the old factory workings --lotsa pipes and wheels.

It's good for the soul, and really good for business to like the place you work in.....and I like the where I work. The location, and, of course, the work!!!!

The building was designed to be a place where real, tangible objects are made. It was also designed to be a place that holds ideas and innovation. 

Mascots, Mascots, Mascots!!!!

Taking photos in out swell studio! Garry & Natasha