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Why do companies gravitate towards animal mascots?


One of my co-workers brought up a great point last week about how more and more companies are turning to animal mascots as a way to promote their business. While some of these choices are based on how their name sounds or the product they are offering, many of them seem to be completely random. It is also amazing how well received some of these mascots can be, while others fall completely flat. It is also strange how many tech companies choose to go with a cutesy mascot that has nothing to do with their business. In fact, here are some examples of cutesy mascots for non-child facing companies, along with the reasons why they either worked well or fell flat.

  • Geico- The Geico gecko has become one of the more recognizable mascots of the last 10 years. They have used him as the main image on their marketing campaigns and was chosen based on how close it sounded to their company name.
  • Aflac- The Aflac duck has become iconic over the last decade. However, I’m still not sure why exactly this has happened, the duck has nothing to do with their name or the product that they are offering.
  • Mozilla Firefox- the Firefox mascot has undergone a few changes since the company launched the browser. It has worked well since the product is named after the animal and thus everything is tied together
  • MailChimp- Much like Firefox, MailChimp’s use of a monkey ties in perfectly with their name.
  • Windows- Windows has had two cutesy mascots, both of which were complete disasters. Bob and Clippy were both examples of mascots that didn’t really tie into the product and were also not properly promoted.

These are just a few of the cutesy animal mascots that have been used in recent years by companies whose target audience isn’t children. Please comment below with some other examples that come to mind when thinking of animal mascots.


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