To overcome any issue, it is vital to first address the problem. I know we’re all thinking it. It’s on the tip of all our tongues. So I’m just going to come out and say it.
Aren’t cereals mascots unnecessarily buff these days? Wow. Thinking it was one thing, but finally saying it feels like a weight has been lifted.
I have observed the gradual but noticeable evolution of my breakfast partners over the years and they’re just not the fun loving guys I grew up with anymore. I hardly recognise them!
I think the first one that comes to mind for all of us is none other than the steroid taking, protein shake addict; Tony the Tiger! He really has changed hasn’t he? At a tender age of 60, he now stands six-feet-two and has biceps the size of my head. I know his shtick has always been about sports, but come on! You sell sugar-frosted flakes to children.
Then there’s the Kellogg’s Cornflakes rooster Cornelius, who started his career as a green and red silhouette but after purchasing a gym membership, has now taken full form and has standing chance against Tony in a UFC match (my money would still be on Tony).
The list continues with Cookie Crisp’s new aerodynamically shaped wolf, Chip, Lucky Charm’s healthy-looking boy mascot (who used to be a mischievous old Irish leprechaun) Lucky and so on.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no qualms with exercise, healthy living or good diet. But how impressionable do you think our children actually are that you have to bombard them beefy cartoon characters in hopes they’d start pumping iron early enough so they can audition to be in the next Jersey Shore? Has childhood obesity really gotten that out of hand?
But if the real message actually is about setting a good example for the children, then why are the characters on the other end of the cereal spectrum all crazy junkies?
There’s the Trix rabbit who just can never quite get his fix as hard as he tries, Franken Berry with his hazed eyes and slow demeanor and Sonny who is just hopelessly addicted to Cocoa Puffs.
A mascot isn’t the brand, but he/she is there for a reason. The mascot is there to embody the personality of the brand, to be used as a communication tool that resonates with your target audience, reinforcing your key messages and achieving your communication goal.
I’m just not sure if I get that when I look at Tony and gang.
It has been said that a mascot is a brands best social-media accessory, so is your brand utilising its mascot to the GGGGRRRRRRRRREATEST of its abilities?
[The Last Breakfast image by: Brian Stuckey]