- Develop a kid’s webpage (or a separate website for kids) with games and fun that your mascot “participates” in.
- Use your mascot as the theme for your online store. Energizer has the “Bunny Centre” with media, backstory and an attached store for “Fun ways to Wear the Hare” (Feel like wearing the hare? See their store here: http://www.energizer.ca/energizer-bunny).
- Use your mascot in banners or promotional information on your website to drum up excitement.
- Ever consider turning your mascot into a stuffed animal? He’s already as cute as heck — why not sell him as a huggable toy?
- Clothing? Put your mascot’s face on a t-shirt with a cute slogan and you have a line of kid’s (and possibly adult’s) clothing.
- Use your mascot in your print ads! What’s more likely to catch your eye on a busy subway: a stock photo or a cartoon of a fun mascot?
- Incorporate your mascot into your direct mail. Ten bucks says people will find it harder to throw out a piece of mail with a fun cartoon on it, than one without. Perhaps your mascot will even inspire your creative thinking when it comes to direct mail.
- Give out free company promotional materials featuring your mascot. Think: bookmarks, water bottles, magnets, keychains, stickers etc. Did someone say freebies?!
There are so many marketing opportunities out there, so figure out what works for you! Representing your mascot into multiple mediums is a fantastic way to spread awareness about your brand on the web, in print media, and through promotional and for-purchase materials! Mascots are more accessible than sales jargon, so you simply can’t lose by using your mascot in as many campaign materials as possible. As our friend Paule Pachter from Long Island Cares reminds us: “Don’t have any limitations when thinking about creative ways to market your mascot.” Thanks Paule, our sentiments exactly!
Let’s face the facts here, folks…. High performance mascots are more likely to get sweaty, that’s just basic biology. On top of ensuring basic performer hygiene (no need to be polite here: your performer needs deodorant!) you can take extra precautions to improve your performer’s comfort and coolness levels. While we have always said the best air conditioning is a good attitude, here are a few things that can be done to help it along:
- Choose to get a mascot with an exhaust fan. Exhaust fans expel hot stale air from the head to cool the performer. Other types of fans (ventilation) blow air inward and just blow around hot air in the head (how pointless is that?!)
- The locations of strategic ventilation can be determined for the head during the design phase (such as through the eyes, open mouths, or nose area).
- Have your performer wear light shorts & t-shirt (cotton or some other wicking fabric).
- Your mascot body can be designed with courtesy air exposure, allowing ventilation within the body of the mascot in key areas. This is always worth a discussion as furry mascots in summer can get quite warm! The last thing you want is “Jolly the Happy Fun Times Bear” fainting in front of kids.
- The use of newer fabrics that wick away sweat quickly can be incorporated into strategic areas of the costume that touch skin.
- Absorbent sweat bands can be attached to the internal head structure of the character.
- A cooling vest system will keep a performer cool for up to 8 hours depending on weather conditions. Our chosen systems employ the use of gel packs which stay at a comfortable and safe temperature (not below 14 degrees). However, these do add bulk and weight to the costume so some of our more active performers opt to go without a vest.
- Have a mascot routine that plans for ‘breaks’ (whether in character or not). Be sure to plan for some ‘low key’ yet effective and ‘in character’ stunts in the audience while sitting or on the dugouts etc. Give your performer a 5 minute break every 20 – 30 minutes, between active spurts — trust me, they’ll thank you for it!
- Have your performer stay hydrated, stay hydrated, stay hydrated… did we mention; stay hydrated?
Remember, your character may be performing rigorous routines in warm weather. It is the responsible choice to make sure that they are up to the challenge, and healthy! It’s probably not the best idea to hire Bob, who is 70 lbs overweight with a heart condition, to be your cheetah mascot. Remember that mascots are people too, and make sure to aid your performer in staying cool and comfortable!
Youth: Being able to tap into the youth demographic which will then grow up with and around your mascot idea is one point to make. Being able to bring in customers for a product or service they may not even know about yet is a great way to build a brand legacy. Kids will love your mascot and they will one day grow up to be the consumers you’ve been hoping for all along.
Trust: If their kids like your mascot then the chances are their parents are going to give your company a chance. Even if yours is a product they didn’t think they had a need for; if their kids like your mascot then you will have built in a level of trust on behalf of the parents.
Identity: One more reason you need a mascot for your business is so that you can establish and cement your brand identity. How often have you asked yourself what your business stands for? When you have a mascot, you will be able to better channel that brand identity into a great and relatable corporate image. Consider some of the best mascots through time; from sports teams, television shows, and more; now imagine your company with that same level of brand identity. This is the type of recognition you can have with your own mascot.
Custom: One final point about your business’ need for a mascot is the fact that this will be custom. When you create your own mascot with an excellent design team, your mascot can be literally anything you desire! We can create your mascot from sketches or drawings of your own, or you can work with our design team to create a unique character that we create for you based on the needs of your business.
A Great Return on Investment: Though a custom mascot means a large, up-front financial commitment, it offers the ultimate return on investment when it comes to spending your advertising dollars. Mascots are long-term investments that allow the initial cost to be amortized over several years, unlike other forms of advertising which can have very limited lifespans. And the number of impressions per dollar spent can far exceed anything you would get with print, online or other.