In the UK, we may not know a lot about the new US president, Joe Biden (apart from the fact Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge his newly-elected position).
Whilst Trump is a devotee of social media—particularly Twitter—it’s Biden’s dogs who are the apparent social media whizzes in his household. Biden and his wife, Jill, have two German shepherds: Major and Champ. The hounds have their own Twitter account: @firstdogsusa (DOTUS was, apparently, already taken).
At Novus Marketing Solutions we also have a canine mascot. Arrow the Marketing Dog has his own profile on LinkedIn, where he displays recommendations and tries to broaden his network of connections. The golden retriever is regularly in the Novus office…well, when we have team meetings, at least.
I also have my dog as my mascot in my business, Hall Good Books. Scamp, my border terrier, appears on my Twitter and Instagram pages as an avid reader of the captivating titles I publish.
Statistics show that a mascot influences a customer’s perception of a brand and encourages them to purchase.
Which may be why there are plenty of brands out there who use animals in their advertising. Think about ‘Tony the Tiger’, the mascot for Kelloggs’ Frosties; Energizer batteries’ fluffy pink bunny; Churchill Insurance’s bulldog and his catchphrase, ‘Oh Yessss’ (I know you’ll have read that in his voice). Compare the Market centre their entire marketing strategy around their loveable meerkats Aleksandr and Sergei.
The ‘aah’ factor is one huge reason why brands choose animals as their mascots rather than human beings. Having an animal as a frontman makes the brand easier to remember, and because the animals are often animated/CGI in videos and adverts, they can be made to do whatever the brand needs them to do—something that can’t always be said when you use a human actor!
Having an animal associated with your branding doesn’t have to mean creating a separate character; it can simply be part of the brand name—for example, Puma and Red Bull.
Animals can transcend some of the limitations brands face when they use humans in their advertising. Jaguar doesn’t have to make any statement as to its perceived audience…the cat in the company’s branding does not specifically target males or females. Jaguar can’t be accused of using too many people of one race in its adverts, for example, when it’s a large feline that positions itself beside the company’s cars.
Some animals bring natural connotations that brands can harness. For example, dogs are loyal, owls are wise, ants have a great work ethic—these are positive aspects of an animal’s behaviour that could add credence to a company’s marketing messages.
Back to the most prominent dogs in America as of a couple of weeks ago: Major and Champ. Biden’s move to have his pets as his mascots will help endear him to people. Having your pet dog as your brand’s mascot is actually very common; a recent study showed that just over 40% of animal-based brands use ‘a man’s best friend’ in their advertising. Cats were the next popular (10%), closely followed by horses (7.6%). Perhaps surprisingly, according to the study, geckos were not far behind, appearing in 4.6% of animal adverts.
A furry mascot (or a scaly one, in the gecko’s case) certainly seems a good bet for companies looking to refresh their branding. Perhaps we could help you create your creature of choice? Contact 07983 575934 for more details.