During the 21st Century, we’ve seen a growing number of marketing campaigns in the UK that involve characters such as cartoon characters or animals. Vodafone with the animated bees, Comparethemarket with the meerkats, Argos with the aliens and M&Ms with their talking chocolates. It’s a smart way of engaging consumers through campaigns that are consistent and may promote the product/brand in a less in-your-face sort of way because the emphasis is essentially on the characters and perhaps not on the brand as much. This therefore helps to create a more interesting, iconic brand which is recognisable to consumers.
Recently, I watched a documentary which explained Star Wars and how it expanded into an international brand for products, whether we’re talking about duvet covers, watches, cups – you name it. Consumers became interested in the overall brand and there was a demand for these Star Wars branded products. Although this case was originally about marketing to children, the style of marketing seems to now be applied to adults, such as the launch of the Comparethemeerkat website and its meerkat cuddly toy collection. To be fair, the cuddly toys may appeal to children, but I’m sure there’s a few parents who (deep down) love them themselves. Consumers who may not have been previously interested in Comparethemarket have now formed a stronger connection with them.
Branding through characters have therefore helped to position brands in a more personal way, maybe even more human – even the aliens for Argos. Most of these campaigns consist of humour which is an easier way of connecting with the target audience and as my earlier post highlighted, humour is an effective marketing technique. Rather than seeing endless billboards of posters or TV adverts that just show product after product, we’re seeing more of simple logos or characters on our social media pages which keep their brand fresh in our memories.
I’m not sure about you, but personally I’m liking this approach because it makes ads more interesting such as the introduction of the super cute baby meerkat. We can now follow these characters through campaigns like a storyline where things actually happen.
Featured Image: jessicahtam