“Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me.”
You would have to be living under a rock, without internet connection to not have heard the reference above. Old Spice created something fun and entertaining to help reinforce their brand and make it memorable.
This is a classic example of the advertising hack that you can use too. So what’s the super-secret free hack that Super Bowl ads and other really smart advertisers use to stand out?
THEY CREATED ICONIC CHARACTERS.
What is an Iconic Character?
An Iconic Character puts a face to the brand. It’s like a walking, talking, living logo for your company.
Paired with positive comedy, the character becomes engraved in our memory, and what else comes with that character? You guessed it! The brand that it is associated with!
They have been used both for online campaigns, like the Chatbooks Mom, or for tv spots. It's even been shown that digital campaigns using iconic characters have outperformed Super Bowl spots (without the mega expensive broadcast fees).
So… How do I make one?
This is where you get to be fun and creative! Creating a character to associate your brand with allows you to open up a new world to your audience.
It’s like when you went to Build-A-Bear Workshop as a kid. You find what kind of bear or what kind of animal you would like, but in this case, you're finding what identity you want this character to have. Do you want a “Mr. Cool Guy” type character like Old Spice Guy, or someone who is a little bit more silly, like the Trix Rabbit?
Remember, this identity will reflect YOUR IDENTITY also. The character should embody a message that reflects your values. If this character is the embodiment of your brand, they should reflect positively on what you’re all about.
Lastly, the important thing is to keep them memorable. That’s what you want: to be remembered!
What will make them stand out from the rest of the noise? Do they have a catchphrase or tagline? Maybe they do something ridiculous like smash through a wall, and say “OH YEAHHHHHHH”. I'd give myself 1 out of 5 stars for that idea.... :-)
How can I use an Iconic Character?
Now that you’ve created this character for you brand, it’s time to put it to action! You can put your character through situations or scenarios that can prove your product or service’s worth. Seeing your character use your product in a playful way can motivate new people to check out your brand!
Your character also can become your spokesperson. You don’t need famous actors, athletes or musicians. You already have somebody in your back pocket that you can bring into the spotlight who is armed and ready to share good tidings of great joy about your brand to all who may hear. Gloria!
Characters? Identity? Memorability? All this seems overwhelming!
We get it. This can be confusing and weird. Especially if you're like 99% of the people we work with. They know a good idea when they see one but God-forbid if you have to imagine from scratch.
After all, hard facts, numbers and statistics are things that are easy to measure and comfortable. So it's totally normal if you feel that dreaming up iconic characters is out of your comfort zone.
Not really sure how to do it? That’s why we’re here. Helping busy people produce amazing video content is what we do, and we can help create an iconic character cuts through the noise and makes your brand memorible.
You can check out Mr.Perfect HERE to see how an iconic character can be used in a campaign.
Now it's your turn to test your knowledge:
MATCH THE ICONIC CHARACTER
Mr. Whipple for Charmin
Mucinex Man for Mucinex
Flo for Progressive
Mayhem for Allstate
Kool-Aid Man for Kool-Aid