In late 1990’s Indian market was growing at a rocket speed ,manufacturing products from pencils to cars ,salt to luxury goods where everything required an advertisement campaign and this catered to advent of marketing and advertisement in India ,which bought with itself celebrity endorsements on celluloid of marketing kaleidoscope .
Celeb brings both pros and cons alongwith them as they can both break and make a brand. Pampering and recognition given to celebrities many a times diverges the brand’s focus on product .Traditional notion that celeb transfer their success, personality, image and power to the brand was conventional mindset of marketers attributing to reasons for growth of celeb advertisements .Some of those reasons are:
* Creates great brand awareness for product
* Sustenance of brand image
* Stimulating and reviving brands
* Product association
But with the movement of clock arms’ the ad world realized that many brand ambassadors don’t practise what they preach and their involvement in controversies hamper the brand image.
It was then MASCOTS came into picture .
MASCOTS- aka fictional representative spokesperson are branding elements personifying brand as an animal, object or person so that people can connect and resonate the product and brand.
MASCOTS ARE HOT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE – as on one hand unlike celeb they are ageless, immortal and far away from any kind of controversies which can damage the reputation of the brand and on the other hand ,no salaries ,perquisites are to be paid to them. They gel along well with other brand elements like logo’s ,taglines ,jingles ,etc.
AMUL GIRL 1967,AIR INDIA’S MAHARAJA of early 1940’s are two mascots which captured hearts of every Indian then. From 7 UP’S COOL, SWANKY DOODLE FIDO ,ZOOZOOS OF VODAFONE, DOUGHBOY ,SWEET LITTLE BUTLER OF GODGREJ PILLSBURY ,to CHINTAMANI OF ICICI ,all have created magic with their innocence and impactful presence in the market which is evident in the increment of brand value of brands using mascots for advertisements.
Now the question of the hour is WHEATHER CUSTOMER GETS HOOKED TO RANBIR’S PEPSI AD OR FIDO’S 7 UP COMMERCIAL, ABHISHEK BACHCHAN FOR IDES OR ZOOZOO’S OF VODAPHONE ?? Getting your brand advertised from celebrity or going for mascot is the dilemma marketers /advertisers are in ..
Both are a legitimate way to communicate the message the celeb route though is like a roller coaster can leverage the brand’s market value in concurrency with celeb and can also land a brand in shallow lands with any critical incidence of celeb .On the other side of coin Mascots needs to be built ,invested into and in time it can become powerful and exclusive property of the brand .Depending on the target market too certain products find celeb as apt whereas mascots are thought to go along well with children oriented products . But there is great chance of brand being lost in clutter while using celeb as many celeb endorse more than 1 brand leading to lack of exclusivity and uniqueness. M .S. DHONI is advertising 20-25 brands but i can recall
hardly 5-6 of them only, whereas as soon as i see AMUL GIRL OR ZOOZOO i can connect to AMUL AND VODAFONE directly . Also ,mascots are created keeping in mind the brand whilst a celeb being a mortal ,may be a perfect choice to endorse but with time image of the celeb changes whereas simultaneous change in brand’s image might not happen.
It’s true brand “OWNS” a MASCOT while a CELEBRITY is an ASSET SHARED BY MANY BRANDS .Celeb owing to its fame can create more awareness ,emotional connect (human element being associated) giving instant boost to brand whereas mascot itself is unknown amongst people and needs time ,investment to become a household name.
SO IT’S THUS A QUESTION OF HORSES FOR COURSES ,completely at discretion of the brand …