Why Branding Matters: How to Create a Famous Mascot for Your Business

Brand mascots have been around for decades. Many of us grew up asking for Frosted Flakes for breakfast because we wanted to be like Tony the Tiger. Meantime, the team of colorful M&M mascots has pretty much become a side brand on their own, with a successful line of plush representations, T-shirts and more.

As an independent business owner, you might dream of creating a mascot for your company that will help drive business and endear customers to your brand. In order to do this, it’s important to start by taking a look at some of the most iconic brand mascots and discover why they are so beloved.

The Aflac Duck

Since the Aflac Duck made his debut in 1999, the duck, with his loud “Aflac!” retort, has quickly become one of the more recognizable mascots on TV. As AOL notes, the Kaplan Thaler Group, a New York City-based advertising agency, originally came up with the effective mascot when one of its art directors realized the company name sounded like a duck’s quack. Actor Gilbert Gottfried signed on to voice the sassy duck, and the rest is history. The combination of humor, plus the company name being quacked loudly, makes the Aflac Duck a perfect mascot.

The Michelin Man

First created in 1898 by the Michelin brothers, the Michelin Man is one of the oldest mascots, brand or otherwise. Over the past 100-plus years, Michelin has altered the way the Michelin Man looks to make sure he remains recognizable and appealing. His strong, muscular look reminds buyers Michelin creates high-quality tires that last. The famous mascot still appears in both print and commercial ads, as well as websites like, where you’ll find the Michelin Man representing the Michelin brand.

Mr. Peanut

Maybe it’s the monocle, handsome top hat or jaunty cane. Whatever the reason, Mr. Peanut has been the ideal mascot for Planters for 100 years. Taking the basic peanut and anthropomorphizing him into an instantly recognizable and beloved character was a brilliant move on Planters’ part.

Ronald McDonald

The famous red-haired clown first appeared in a commercial for McDonald’s in the early 1960s and was an instant hit with people of all ages. The cheerful and encouraging clown has starred in numerous ads since and is probably one of the most recognizable brand mascots in the world.

Create Your Own Effective Mascot

Fortunately, there always seems to be room in the marketing world for another well-known brand mascot. As Sprinklr notes, the first thing to consider when creating a brand mascot of your own is to focus on what people truly love about your product or service. If one of your products can easily translate into a mascot, consider working with an artist or marketing firm to transform the item into a personified version.

In the world of iconic brand mascots, funny and unique will always stand out amongst the competition; for example, Flo, the spokesperson for Progressive Insurance, has a great sense of humor that shines brightly in the company’s commercials. If possible, your mascot’s name should include the name of your company or brand, and if it rhymes like Ronald McDonald, this can also make it more memorable.

Once you’ve created a mascot, have it be the face of your social media posts. While you might not want to be outrageous or over the top in company tweets, your mascot can get away with being silly and humorous, which will help people remember you and your brand.

Photo Credit: Image provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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