Changing Face of Indian Advertising Mascots

Air India’s Maharaja which came into existence in the year 1946 and the Amul girl in 1967 are the mascots which captured the hearts of one and all in India. These mascots caught the attention of the consumers as they were charming and connected well with the consumers. Indian corporate have also seen few other mascots like Fido the cool swanky doodle of 7 Up, doughboy the sweet little butler of Godrej Pillsbury, Gattu who build brand Asian Paint, Chintamani who endorsed ICICI, Sunny who is creating magic with Sunfeast.
The success of these mascots can be qualified by, the increase in the brand value of these brands consumer connect. Decline of mascot power The Indian market grew at a fast pace in nineties everything from pencils to cars, salt to luxury goods required an advertising campaign this was the time when we saw emergence of celebrity advertising and mascots lost their appeal. We also lived in a time when there was no argument regarding the fact that a celebrity can make or break a brand.
The pampering and recognition given to the celebrity in the marketing of the product in some cases was even greater than the product itself. The advertising world, during this time strongly believed that the celebrities transfer their success, personality, status and power to the brand. They attributed reasons for the growth of celebrity endorsements to: • Create great brand awareness for product • Sustaining the brand image • Stimulating and reviving brands • Product association

However, the advertising world also realized that many brand ambassadors does not practice what they preach and sometimes controversies and unpleasant incidents connected with the celebrity causes damage. It is also observed that over exposure and multiple endorsements too can damage the image of product. The Indian market which is saturated with celebrity endorsements has seen emergence of the mascots. Emergence of the mascots The courage and optimism that common man of R. K. Laxman portrays and a middle-class Indian, that Chintamani portrays is certainly unmatched but the new age mascots are more attractive, and trendy.
The advertisers have become more creative with the use of animation. The new age mascots have a lasting appeal and create a whole new persona for the product. They manage the product as efficiently as a celebrity. Moreover, in the current marketing scenario when the celebrity charisma diminishing away the world of advertising is turning back to mascots. Celebrities get associated with too many products and therefore it is difficult to relate them with one particular brand, which is not the case with the mascots.
For an example Shahrukh Khan endorse brands such as Pepsi, Airtel, Santro, Emami , and many more but Fido is just associated with 7Up. The strength of mascots lies in its uniqueness, and its power of effectively communicating the ethos of the brand like, Chintamani solves all our worries related to tax savings and good returns paving a new way for no chinta, Share Khan tell us how to smartly invest in stocks and reap rich dividends, Gattu with the brush in his hand and the smile on his face passes the message that a bright coat of paint will brighten up the house.
Moreover the mascots are not as expensive as celebrities. The cost of creating these characters is as low as development of a normal commercial. Lowe Advertising creative director Delna Sethna claims that the first Chintamani ad cost around Rs 7 lakh. Moreover, the animated characters also give more scope for creative-flexibility. Mascots are dynamic and they adapt with changing times. We should acknowledge how the Amul girl in polka dots has changed overtime, and Fido has makeovers with the changing time.
The advertising world has also observed that the popularity of any mascot is not only based on the response they get, but also depend on the fact that these faces have a higher recall value. Conclusion The Amul girl was born in 1967 is still a popular mascot. She may soon enter into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest campaign to survive in the market. This goes on to prove that the mascots are more appropriate brand ambassadors. The impact and success of the mascot, depends on how effectively it conveys the brand values and the ideals that consumers would associate with.

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