Most of the ad film makers concentrate much on how much a visual treat the ad is to watch and how much does it appeal to the viewers of the advertisement like colors, mnemonics, sounds and symbols like logos. So, even if the consumer is not educated enough to read the brand name, there are chances that the consumer is likely to register in mind the brand because they remember the mascot or the background song which in case of advertisements is called the jingle.
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It is not a very astonishing scenario that almost all advertisers are thinking of popularising their brand’s mascots in whichever ways are possible.These mascots which come in the advertisements of their products also are advertised in comic books and other books mostly for children. Big life-sized models of the mascots like Sunny, Fido Dido are made to visit schools to amuse the child audience. Because it is a popular belief that if something has reached children and kids,it is sure to become popular amongst adult crowd.Also another reason why this much hype for mascots is that they not only engross audience into them and amuse them, they also help them prevent browsing some other channels during ad breaks.Some channels are now showing fierce enthusiasmin in making use of brand mascot’s publicity to proclaim important events or to establish a competition or announce an offer instead of using cartoon characters.They feel that it is not the first time that they have got this sort of a demand.they’ve been getting such petitions for so many years.Hence they are in plans to implement their requests.
The channel Cartoon Network witnesses it a good hunting ground that huge companies are running up telling that they need to build a full series of animation on their brand’s characters.It would be a mutually benefitting system as it would help the the TV channel increase its TRP rating for airing a fully new cartoon animated series.
FAMOUS BRAND MASCOTS THAT FEATURED IN ADVERTISEMENTS
The funky, cool swanky doodle that endorsed 7 Up
The famous Fido Dido character of the Pepsi Company’s 7Up first was created in 1987.The Pepsi company made use of this funky character in its marketing business till the early nineties. Later on, it didn’t come in the advertisements for a few years, for almost a decade for some marketing reasons. Actually, Pepsi stopped advertising this product because it found no need to advertise it since it had already established its name in the market and the scenario was such that people started getting used to drink 7 Up and hence it needn’t crate a craze for the people through its ad.
But this scenic condition didn’t last for long. After a few years, need came for Pepsi to start publicising 7 Up because of the growth of popularity of its competitor’s soda drink. The company’s marketing and advertising department thought that it was high time they started hard core, serious advertising of their product.
This time, what came into their mind was their ad icon,Fido Dido, which acted as a prime factor in the popularity of their drink and which made people develop a love for their drink. But there is nothing wrong with their thought process of trying to implement some new changes in the appearance and personality characteristics of their character. Hence they revived their Fido Dido character.
Pepsi’s marketing director Tony Thomas said that the psychology behind the revival of that character is that they thought it would appeal across generations. The character is such that children and teenagers would love the funky nature of it. Their parents will also like it because they have grown up watching it and they will definitely have a sort of nostalgic attachment and affiliation to the Fido Dido character. Hence it will reach a new range of young consumers without losing its good old ones.
The Kingfisher brand has altered its brand mascot which was once a big Kingfisher bird to a smaller bird, a mini version of the airline’s brand mascot- The Kingfisher Junior. The Airline is now thinking of airing the ad for its brand that features the new brand mascot in leading children’s channels like cartoon network. Even in NDTV Good Times for which Kingfisher brand shares a partnership, the little mascot ,a small 2d Kingfisher Junior character flashes in the logo. After it is been telecasted, the company’s brand is all the more popularised. Even for the Kingfisher drink’s advertisements, the little mascot is used as a brand popularising factor. Kingfisher Junior will feature in the airline’s in-flight entertainment programme and also on merchandise offered to those aboard.By making use of this brand mascot in media content the fame of the brand has increased manifold times. Not only this move has created instant liking and recognition for the brand, but has also helped advertisers cut through the clutter. It is true that in a country like India ,where the ad has to be translated to many languages, brand mascots plays a great role in immediate recognition of the brand.
The Pillsbury doughboy hooting ooo-ooh
Earlier advertisements of the product
Pillsbury, makers of ready to cook baked foods, initially in their advertisements had only live action characters, like normal any other food product’s ads which were not unique in any sense and were ordinary as usual, aimed at reaching the lady audience. It was an idea of an ad-film maker to introduce an animated character in their ad. It is said that the idea of Pillsbury suddenly popped up in the ad maker’s mind.
Doughboy’s first appearance
The Doughboy first appeared in 1965 in advertisements for Pillsbury, makers of ready-to-cook baked goods.
When the character was first created, the official name that it was given was Poppin’ Fresh. But after it was telecasted, it was colloquially called the doughboy.
The character was designed keeping in mind that it should be very cute so that ladies who are the chief consumers of this product and children find it appealing.
A cute figure made of white kneaded flour or dough, wearing a blue colour baker’s cap on its head.
It is said that the ad film maker was sitting in his kitchen and pondering seriously under pressure to create an advertising campaign who imagined a living dough boy popping out of a Pillsbury Crescent Rolls can.
In order to differentiate the dough boy from the rolls he gave it a scarf, a chef’s hat, two big blue eyes, a blush when girls and ladies kissed him, and a soft, warm chuckle or a ticklish giggle when poked in the stomach.
Claymation, a form of stop-motion animation technique
Poppin Fresh (the original name of Dough boy character) was originally conceived as an animated figure, but the designer changed his mind after coming to know about the effectiveness of stop motion technique. Hence, a clay model of Dough boy which was 8 3/4 inches tall, including his hat and which weighed 14 ounces was created and was animated using the stop-motion technique, which turned out to be the best form of animation that could ever have done to make the the dough boy character so lively.
Public reach and response
When the ad in which the doughboy starred was telecasted in a lengthy running volley of Television commercials people started loving the ad because of the very presence of doughboy in it. In fact, they started waiting for the final seconds of the ad to catch a glimpse of Doughboy, because in all of the ads it invariably ended with him being punched or pricked or poked in the stomach after which it emits his signature ticklish giggle.
Animated characters in finance and insurance ads
Normally, advertisements on banking, insurance and other related issues are focussed on gaining people’s trust. It is often a mis-understood concept that trust blooms only when there is sheer seriousness. Hence, most banks and insurance companies in an attempt to prove their reliability make their advertisements with utter seriousness. But not many advertisements have proved to gain people’s trust by their mere serious advertisements. A recent report shows that people have begun to read more comic strips as compared to news bits. It is a basic mind set of people to love to forget reality from time to time.
Some industry experts even tell that the manner in which animation has been employed in the financial category in India is unproffessional or in other words, amateurish for a starting. On top of that, there are also doubts if using animation in a frivolous area like finance infer a breath of refreshing air, or only spells a diluted message.
Some others feel that the attempt to make use of the tool of animation in a serious issue’s advertisement like that of insurance and banking is highly appreciable. That kind of a light-vein advertisement takes people who are already so confused and stressed about what to do in case of insurance issues into a cool world by completely transforming their serious state of mind and a heated mind set and makes them feel more cleared out and better. A frivolous category need not have a grave spirit and animation need not always frivolous. It is just another way of execution invigorating alternative which is capable of envicing serious topics with equal ardor and flair. Such a happy mood advertisement sets a path for such an important issue to perch perfectly and more efficiently on the desired platform.
A Claymation ad
Chintamani, the mascot of the middle class, has become a household name.
It is said that even small children are wanting to get toys modelled around his scraggly old figure.
Chintamani was created by a clay animation artist called Nandkishor. He later joined Famous Studios and worked on some more Chintamani films.
It is very common to see middle class men worried about where to invest their money safely. That’s why the character is designed as a wretched middle-aged man, worried about where to invest his money.
Amer Jaleel, the executive director, reveals that the Chintamani character was initially created just for a radio spot. Over time, after people started witnessing the character in their advertisements, they started loving it all the more because most men found the Chintamani character more close to themselves, which eventually made it to be used for entire campaign as well.
A 2d animated ad
Super agent-the Mascot
Bajaj Allianz makes use of an animated mascot called Super Agent: a cordially gentle man dressed in a blue and white uniform, ever ready to offer help regarding people’s important and crucial financial decisions.
History of the character’s creation
Super Agent was gestated around three to three and a half years ago and has been used by the company ever since.
As per Akshay Mehrotra, head, marketing, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, represents the core of their business which led them to create a character called Super Agent.”
Not all characters will be enjoyed by people as such for many years long. Hence some minute changes were incorporated in the appearance of the Super agent’s character over time. For example, he is made to look a bit younger than how he was initially launched before quite ironically in logical sense, he had been made to grow younger over time.
Similarities and differences between the two characters
For the advertisement of ICICI Prudential Life, the character Chintamani’s personality was built with a differenece to bajaj Allianz’s character in the basic concept although both seem to share similarities in their characteristics. : Bajaj Allianz’s character the Super Agent is an exaggeration of the solution that it offers whereas the character Chintamani was an exaggeration of the worries/hassles an investor experiences worrying where to invest his money.
The ad film makers of Bajaj Allianz analysed and got to know that almost all of the brands of the similar category are performing predictable, stereo typical things-that is if their company name and brand logo is hidden it is difficult to distinguish one brand from the other.
In that sense, they found out that since only a very meagre number of brands have used the tool of animation in the process of publicizing their brands or using them as mascots, there is definitely a great hope for an animated character assisting a brand name getting popular in this sector.
“When we scripted Chintamani, we thought of channelizing a middle-class Indian, who is invariably tormented by taxes and less savings. He was a personification of an average Indian’s extended reality,” says Ms Sethna.
It was indeed a big gamble of venture on their part and the clients to use an animated character, but risk is also there when they make use of models or celebrities. But it paid them off well. Now if approached with such a thought, no other client will shy away from the concept.
A report says that people tend to invest more in the insurance policies of ICICI after these ads started to be aired on televisions because people in these current days of heavy confusion and tension on which insurance company to rely upon find these light-hearted advertisements a desired relief.
BHARATHI AXA LIFE INSURANCE
2d animated ad
While ‘Chintamani and Super agent succeed in providing a solution to people’s niggles and vexations regarding tax savings and excellent returns, Share Khan tells people how to cleverly invest in stocks.
Kimsoon Chua, chief operating officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance, says that animation has helped the brand move away from over used ideas and cliched things such as merry faces, happy families, coming together, safety nets or celebration. “To cut the stereo type, a caricature was used.
Although the use of animation may attract immediate attention initially, one wonders whether good animation can ever carry an average idea ahead, once the initial excitement is over.
Personified characters in ads
Most of the brands’ mascots are living creatures- either a bird, animal or human beings. But there have also been animated advertisements where the brand’s products have been personified in an animated way as living creatures, which have also earned popularity amongst people. In fact audience have loved the way they’ve been animated and have started developing love for them-their looks and actions.
The All Out mosquito repellent machine that catches mosquitoes actively by sticking its tongue out and licking its lips after finishing its meal.
In fact people started believing in the effectiveness of the product after watching the animated All Out machine catch mosquitoes. People stated to believe the personification fully that sales of the product grew up suddenly.
In the advertisement for the candy, Mango Mood, a mango fruit was personified as an old man’s face. The character was so cute that children simply loved its appearance and became crazy to buy the candies. This character stills remains afresh in the minds of children even though its been 8 years of its last telecast.
2d cartoonish mascots
The Utterly Buttery Amul Gal, This 4 year old wearing a mini frock with dots all over it, is said to be the cutest of all brand mascots the country has ever seen. There have been many brand’s mascots whose appearance have been revised from time to time.She is one mascot with whom many celebrities have rubbed their shoulders.It remains the same even now that cute, chubby baby girls are called “Amul Babies” because of the immense amount of love that people especially house wives have for this cute character. She doesn’t only have good looks ,but also a very strong personality. She is very sarcastic, and up to date with current affairs, who criticises and comments on them with a vein of humour which no one can escape without a chuckle. She had run with time keeping herself young passing comments on new events and issues over time.
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But the greatest success of this utterly butterly girl is that she remains the same appearance-wise as how she was many decades back. It seems that time has not withered her beauty away. Though nowadays, it is rare to see Amul girl in Television ads,she still now adorns the hoardings and banners in the roadsides.It also has credits on its side for being the longest running TV ad.This ad cannot be shrinked to a particular period of time.
There is absolutely no room for any doubts that she would be loved as a 3d model also if made so in future.
The Kelvinator Penguin -Though this brand doesn’t exist now, this character is an unforgettable one. Adults who were youngsters then, still remember this iconic bird as being characteristic of the brand Kelvinator and its dialogue “it’s the coolest one” about the refrigerator.
The Air India Maharaja – Air India, Initially when ad for Air India was aired on Doordarshan this 2d animated character was very popular.It is one amongst the most admired Mascots of all time. Now the same mascot has been 3d animated to give the brand a new lease of life.
This well-known endearing character first made his appearance in Air India way back in 1946, when a Mumbai artist created it. This character was initially created to typify royal nature and embody luxury.The creators in a sense to make it appear unique,gave him a long moustache,a turban with stripes over it and a nose which seems to be hooked which eventually gave him a marked,characteristic look.He also succeeded in delivering the message of outrightly sovereign and a regal tone for which he was created.But by the time when he was created, he did not gain so much of popularity and celebration overnight.It took real time for it to bloom to the level where he is today.
Later on, after the popularity of television in India, it began to star in Air India’s advertisements after which he became an immediately recognizable icon all over India.The Television era in India was when this mascot become well known.This 2d character bows its head down as a sign of respect in the ad .This animation was so cute and well suited the appearance and personality of that mischievous bantam mascot.
After his popularity through the TV ads, his quips,wittisms and amusing personality has made Air India to popularize its services with a one of its type swagger and an uncompetable nature of shrewd humour.This tiny mascot has even won many national and international awards for its brand for its novelty.
Thus this character which was incepted to be printed in the inflight memo pad of Air India, after starring in ads became the icon symbolising the majesty of its brand which developed big and rose up well by creating a hype of the brand’s sales.He is now a celebrated mascot and has credits on his side for being the most recognizable brand mascot across the world after the completion of more than 55 years.Many of the Indian passengers said they prefer to travel by Air India’s service,mainly because they loved its mascot on advertisements and according to them,the Maharajah,with his original style,flavour and appeal is a very real being.He is in fact considered a good aquaintance to the travellers who treats them with intense care,fondness and a cordial reception even to very remote corners of the world.
Asian Paints Gattu – a painter boy with a dripping paint brush in his hands ,the mascot of Asian Paints.The creator of this 2d character is none other than renowned cartoonist R.K.Laxman himself. The name Gattu was given to him by people who were asked to name him in a contest by Asian Paints. It was the name majority of people suggested when asked to name him in that contest.The character was once so popular that even now customers recognize Asian Paints with the boy’s image on the buckets.
The MRF Tyre man who is very muscular and strong in appearance with six packs symbolically representing the durability and strong nature of the brand’s tyres.
Avery young but an equally popular character is Sunfeast biscuit’s Sunny, “Investing in Sunny has definitely paid off,” said Hemant Malik, head of marketing at the foods division of ITC. On speaking about the popularity of the character,he said that when he went to a remote village in India , he asked one of the villagers on how he was able to recognize the brand as he was an illeterate.He said that eventhough he couldn’t read,he could identify the product through the Sunny image over it.
Animation is not merely a method of different execution and presentation in case of advertisements. There are many unique things about it not only because it is a totally different genre and category of advertising, but also an easy means of loading a bundle of serious messages in a compact comic package to be effectively conveyed to the consumers.
Explores how the financial category is slowly inching towards the use of animation, be it in totality of execution, or by making use of animated mascots.
Animation is really an interesting differentiator, not just a difference for the sake of it.
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