From the Old Spice Guy to Progressive’s Flo, brand spokescharacters can become household names in their own right and help make their brands leaders in their industries.
But there is a fine line between brand mascots getting your attention and being annoying and creepy. The truth is that there are far fewer brand mascots that we like than we dislike.
Even the some of America’s oldest and most well-known brand spokescharacters aren’t liked all that much. At least that’s what E-Poll Market Research—whose E-Score© Character service ranks characters on awareness, appeal, and other attributes—found when they surveyed 1,500 people, aged 13 to 49, about 1,600 well-known characters.
To discover which mascots are the least favourite, E-Poll first asks respondents whether they know a specific character. If they do, they are then asked whether they like or dislike the mascot, and to classify what other adjectives they would use to describe the character.
Characters were ranked by the percentage of respondents who disliked them.
Geico already had their Gecko and Caveman mascots firmly in place when they decided to bring on this odd character: a stack of bills with eyes. 37% of respondents disliked the little guy, despite the fact that his theme song is the Rockwell classic 'Somebody's Watching Me.'
So what didn't people like about him? Most people thought he was just boring.
Dominos brought back The Noid--their spokescharacter from the 1980s--last summer to star in a video game on Facebook.
While they were hoping that their retro nod would make customers nostalgic, it seems that most respondents weren't so charmed. In fact, more than half of respondents described The Noid as annoying.
Despite most people describing Esurance's Erin as sexy, she is still one of the most disliked characters of the 1600 in E-Poll's database.
Last week a man was accused of public lewdness at a Chuck E. Cheese and a few weeks before there was a shooting at another. It may be that this string of crimes at restaurant across the country has turned people off to their furry mascot. Or maybe its his charms are lost on those over the age of 5.
While both Esurance's Erin and Chuck E. Cheese had 39% of respondents say they dislike them, Chuck came in at 7 because more people knew who he was.
In 2004, Honda introduced Mr. Opportunity, the cartoon that always comes knocking during the company's clearance event.
He appeared in almost every ad until 2011, when Honda launched a new campaign in the wake of the earthquake in Japan. It's a good thing, since besides disliking the cartoon a large segment of consumers find him very annoying.
Ronald McDonald has been the spokesclown for McDonald's restaurants since 1967. But despite many Americans having grown up with Ronald and the charitable work that he does with the Ronald McDonald House, respondents still dislike him.
This can probably be attributed to rampant coulrophobia - a fear of clowns - since many respondents described Ronald McDonald creepy.
Another spokesman that they described creepy is Mr.Six Flags. This geriatric dancer can't help, but bust a move whenever a Venga Boys tune comes on.
Although he has been a spokesman for the insurance company since 2004, it seems that people don't like him nearly as much as his gecko counterpart.
Maybe its a matter of over-exposure. He did, after all, have his own sitcom for a short period of time. Or maybe he is just a little too dramatic for consumer's liking, since most respondents seemed to identify him as very emotional.
Mucinex is a product that helps you rid your lungs of all the extra gunk when you're sick. So what better way to demonstrate than to create a character that is mucus living in your lungs, right?
It doesn't seem so, since Mr. Mucus is the second most disliked character on the list. Most respondents also noted that Mr. Mucus was very rude, which may have turned them off.
And the title of the most disliked spokesman goes to The Burger King. The King has been a spokescharacter for the fast food chain since 1955, but underwent a makeover from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in 2003.
Now he is the creepy guy who sneaks in to people's rooms and silently stares at them until they wake up. It's no wonder that besides disliking the character, people found him pretty scary.
But don't worry, Burger King announced in August 2011 that they are retiring The King, so he will haunt your dreams no longer.
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