Vox pop

From the revamp of Planters Mr Peanut, to the introduction of Samsung’s Magnuss the dog and HMV’s decision to slim back the use of Nipper the dog (News, DW 19 September), mascots are making the news. Do you think brands benefit from association with a mascot/ brand icon? If so, why and if not, why not?

‘Some brands owe most of their commercial success to associations with distinctive mnemonics. Just ask Bertie Basset, Bibendum, Fred, Mr Matey, or Micky Mouse. However, if the prancing horse never again appeared on a Ferrari, I’d still want one.’

Spencer Buck, Joint creative director, Taxi Studio

‘I cannot think of these brands being divorced from their mascots: Michelin’s Bibendum, Direct Line’s Red Telephone, Dulux’s Dog, Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, Ferrari’s prancing horse, Churchill’s Bulldog and Johnnie Walker’s Striding Man – which is one of the most recognised icons and endorsement of the world’s biggest selling whisky brand. Proof enough.’

Glenn Tutssel, Executive creative director, Tutssels Enterprise IG

‘As long as the character/icon is not loathed, or for that matter has not developed unappealing habits, use it. It gives the consumer the opportunity to build an emotional attachment to a brand – good news in this period of brand homogenisation. Having said that it’s no good just sticking the character on the rear of the brand communication.’

Simon John, Partner, Ergo

‘In an attempt to humanise products and events, mascots reach out to make you their friends and, as such, to make you loyal. Quite often they have the opposite effect. It seems no sporting event is complete without one and it was the Barcelona Olympics that gave us one of the best – Javier Mariscal’s Cobi. This character seemed to epitomise the liberal post-Franco Spain and more especially Barcelona.’

Martin Brown, Creative head, Imagination

‘With mascots it’s a case of love and hate. I love Bibendum, Flat Eric, Sidekick, Jaguar, Nipper and Churchill. I hate Ronald McDonald, Haribo, Jolly Green Giant and all football mascots. If well considered, mascots become a focus of affection, shorthand to the values of the brand it represents and over time an asset. Badly considered, they become a lazy gloss for a company with little of real value to say. I love Nipper.’

Greg Quinton, Senior creative director, The Partners

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