Animated Characters in Advertising

June 15, 2012 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Animated Characters: Let’s Make Brands Friendly

Cute. Likeable. Fun. Animated characters in advertising have charmed their ways in our minds. Be it the funky Fido Dido of 7Up or the naughty Amul girl or in recent times Actve (Tata Sky) and Chintamani (ICICI). And who can ever forget Ronald (McDonald) and Leo the Lion (MGM Pictures). The bottom line is that animated characters perk up an ad – a print ad or TVC or Twitter & Facebook (if you like).

Rating Animated Characters – The measuring scale

• Does it relate strongly with the TA, from a kid to an adult?
• Does it show the brand characteristics effectively?
• Does it lend a totally new, fresh perspective to your advertising approach?
• Do you have a new message that you could promote along with the character?
• Does it have a top of the mind recall (focusing on the way it is portrayed)?

Models or Animated Characters

Agencies use models primarily for their ‘pull factor’. A beautiful or familiar face draws you instantly to the ad. A reason why celebrity endorsements are common. But let’s look at the other side of the fence. Dealing with actors, models or sports stars is not an easy job.

• Moolah – With some celebrities charging a crore for an ad you can imagine the escalating cost of brand endorsements.
• One name, too many brands – A model might be endorsing different products which might confuse the consumer. In multiple endorsements, the brand recall goes for a toss in such a case.
• Time limit – Going on for decades with the same face jutting out of an ad is… thumbs down.
• Image perception – We all know that being in the news is good for a celebrity but being in the news for the wrong reason might put the brand in a tight spot. People lap up gossips and public memory is short but brand association takes all of this to another level where the brand/product is perceived to be the same as the celebrity who is endorsing it.

Animated characters on the other and, have a malleable quality about them. They don’t fade with age and are quite unique. No two characters are alike. Throw in life-like environment and a little imagination and what you have is a different world altogether.

Social Media as Launch Pad

• Giving your character a Twitter handle or Facebook page is a cool idea during the launch phase
• Always use first person account while commenting to readers or even answering their queries or complaints
• Besides talking about new initiatives, fill in the page with humour or latest news. Make it a witty one-liner for a start.
• The tone of the language should be open and encouraging readers to make a comment. The idea is to interact and not merely one-sided commenting.
• The character has to be a part of your marketing strategy. Keep the strategy clear and simple. So, don’t overdo the character part as a sole player.
• Keep track of the suggestions of fans
• Upload the pictures of latest events or POPs / BTL activities too
• Topical advertising scores big time with animated characters as it keeps the interest level high
• Having contests engages TA. You could club offers with contests.
• And lastly, continue only if people are showing interest.

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