Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Successful puppets and mascots used in marketing

Are you looking for a marketing technique that will make you stand out from the crowd with the added benefit of publicity while communicating a clear brand image for your business or company?

Mascots and puppets have been used in advertising for many years and have come to form the backbone of nearly all successful image-conscious and well-marketed companies worldwide. Whether it is because such icons conjure up nostalgic feelings about childhood or are provocative of emotions from an identifiable character is not known, but they can become an important element of a business marketing campaign.

At Promotional Props and Costumes, we are able to assist you in coming up with an innovative idea to promote your brand, design it and then bring it to life with our team of professionals who have a wealth of skill and knowledge gained from many years of experience working with puppets and mascots to create the perfect representations for everything from a successful business and marketing campaign right through to performances and plays.

Here we take a look back at some nostalgic and controversial mascots and puppets used over the past five decades that have produced the desired effect for businesses and brands worldwide:

Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger has been appearing on the cereal box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes or Frosties as its cartoon mascot for more than 60 years and has rarely changed over the years. His slogan “They’re Grrrrreat!” has sold the flakes successfully worldwide initially marketed at young kids, but now, since a UK government crackdown on advertising to children, he is being used to market toward dads in television adverts that show a father and son playing – apparently appealing to the increase in fathers who are taking on the role of the house husband and doing supermarket shopping.

EDF Zingy Flame

Cute puppet Zingy was launched in April 2012 in a television marketing campaign by energy company EDF Energy and sparked a flood of requests on social mediums about how people could get their hands on the little puppet. Many people attempted to make their own and EDF even set off a flurry of excitement giving consumers a glimmer of hope that Zingy would be put into production – if nobody knew who EDF were before 2012, they definitely do now.

Ronald McDonald

The primary mascot for McDonalds is a fairly simple and successful idea, using a clown character to appeal to kids and families. Being the primary mascot for the fast food chain McDonalds, the mascot provoked an interesting back-story, inhabiting a fantasy world of McDonaldland with his friends Mayor McCheese, The Hamburglar and Grimace. After disappearing for a bit, it has been announced that he may reappear in television commercials soon.

Duracell bunny

A bunny rabbit puppet that takes on an anthropomorphic form to symbolise the infinitive characteristics of Duracell batteries, as compared with other rival battery manufacturers. First appearing in 1973 in a television commercial showing the Duracell bunny alongside other pink bunny rabbits who were all playing the drums but running out of power as their batteries died – all except the Duracell bunny. The Duracell bunny was both endearing and applicable to kids and adults alike, particularly useful in Christmas advertisements.

Energizer bunny

This bunny puppet was created in the late 80s by Duracell rival Energizer as one-upmanship to their battery rival, to the ‘other’ battery manufacturer. This bunny stepped things up a gear in the rabbit/battery market because it resulted in the two brands becoming indistinguishable. An excellent marketing ploy for Energizer, who were lagging behind in sales, although we’re not too sure if it worked in Duracell’s favour.

Wonga puppets

The elderly puppets, Betty, Earl and Joyce have only been appearing on television screens in the past few years in Wonga.com advertisements which depict them dancing to house music while explaining the attractions of Wonga. The trio have attracted a lot of media and public attention, namely for their controversial use of a marketing tactic which would usually be aimed at children to attract adults to borrow money. It seems though, that any publicity is good publicity with Wonga believed to have made hundreds of thousands from the marketing tactic. However, the three will be disappearing from our screens very soon.


To find out how we can help your business create a comprehensive marketing strategy and generate publicity, take a look at our mascot gallery or contact us today. 

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