Virtual Mascots as Brand Ambassadors


An ideal partner for effective and affective marketing

It is a well-known fact that in marketing, when articulating any type of communication action, it is essential to differentiate oneself. The recipients of our message are certainly busy people, and if we want them to grant us the favor of their attention, we have to manage somehow to separate ourselves from the background noise.

That said, let's put ourselves on the best of terms. The brand, product or service that we intend to promote, to sell, to position, is really sensational. It deserves every euro of its price and more. As if that were not enough, taking into account all the variables that profile our target audience, we have designed a foolproof marketing plan.

As a result, we have managed to get a very considerable amount of people to stop what they were doing, and look at us for a not inconsiderable amount of time (seconds, maybe a few minutes). We can be proud. Life is smiling on us. We have done our homework and it seems that everything is a success,... Isn't it?

Creating lasting relationships

We will agree that it is one thing to be recognized, to attract attention, to turn heads, even why not, to achieve sales (in the short term), and quite another to establish a long term relationship. For the latter, attention!... you have to be loved.

A communication that creates emotional ties, appealing directly to the emotional part of the person, will always be more effective than any other. Furthermore, although we are sometimes reluctant to consider it that way, it is demonstrated that a great part of the decisions we make are based on emotional considerations.

At this point, we're very sure you are most likely thinking: "Wow! Differentiation is not a big deal, but either I'm wrong or all this creation of 'emotions' for a brand (product or service) is going to require a complete change in the way we play this game.

Hopefully, in this new twist of the marketing strategy, one element that we can always put into play is that of Virtual Mascots in the rol of Brand Ambassadors; whose etymology, by the way, brings us to the French term "mascot", which we could translate as "lucky charm". Knock on wood!

Cornie is the main character of Mental Troopers

Mental Troopers (© VÓRTICE)
Original concept, design, 3D adaptation and animation

Benefits of using Virtual Mascots

The use of this kind of ambassador, as another element of marketing, can contribute greatly to the solid construction of a brand and the best promotion of a product or service.

In short, we can identify a series of clear strengths of this strategy:

  • Better communication. Pets are usually an excellent facilitator between the user and the brand, product or service, providing that emotional side of positive energy.
  • Total flexibility. Experience shows us that a well designed and well spread mascot can work as an ambassador even better than a famous character. A mascot can adopt an endless range of aspects and attitudes, and be placed in any situation we can imagine.
  • Quick identification. The way the human brain works is mainly oriented to the recognition and memory of concrete forms and images, rather than text. Pets take advantage of this, and reinforce it with their humanized appearance or attitudes.
  • Visual coherence. The use of a mascot throughout different campaigns and communication actions, on different formats and supports, always guarantees a level of homogenization, which avoids an excessive dilution of the brand, product or service.
  • Identity reinforcement. Within a brand strategy, mascots are an effective way of spreading vision, mission and values, with just a quick look at their appearance, gestures and behavior.

Fluvi (© ExpoAgua 2008)
3D adaptation and animation

Key aspects to consider when designing a mascot

As in the case of corporate identity, parameters such as shape or color, which influence our emotions so much psychologically, are of course totally applicable here.

Moreover, we will have to evaluate other aspects such as clothing, the ability to manipulate objects, etc. However, the latter is easily alterable, and in fact we may wish to do so through different versions of our mascot, with the aim of taking advantage of special moments for marketing throughout the year, such as: Christmas, different sales periods, etc.

Submission to the public tender for the Zaragoza Expo 2008 mascot design competition

Concurso mascota Expo2008 (© VÓRTICE)
Original concept, design, 3D adaptation and animation

Submission to the public tender for the Zaragoza Expo 2008 mascot design competition

Concurso mascota Expo2008 (© VÓRTICE)
Original concept, design, 3D adaptation and animation

It is often said that facial expressions are the language of speech. That is why we will need our mascot to be able to perform at least the basic facial gestures of speech, eyebrow movement (if any), different eye openings, etc.

Undoubtedly, all this will be conditioned largely by the morphology of the face itself, being essential to carry out a complete study on those expressions that we wish our mascot can carry out, this aspect that greatly conditions the design. All this takes special importance in the facial animation of the mascot, which in the case of 3D character implemented through the so-called "blend-shapes.

Also, the possibilities of movement and body expression that it is necessary to provide our mascot, should be carefully studied.

Ternaskiko is a mascot for the food sector brand Pastores

Ternaskiko (© Pastores)
Design, 3D adaptation and animation

With the work of defining facial expressions and body poses already done, the so-called "character's bible" will be obtained.

In the case of a 3D mascot, this basic document will allow us to develop, within the "character setup" process, the animation controls that will allow an adequate "rigging", through the union (blending) of the underlying kinematic skeleton with the exterior ("skin") of the model, by means of the assignment ("skinning") of weights ("weighting").

Pop&Corn is an idea for a 3D animated series for television by BRB Internacional

Pop & Corn (© BRB Internacional)
3D adaptation and animation

Pop & Corn (© BRB Internacional)
3D adaptation and animation

We create (or adapt) your mascot to communicate well

As we have just seen, the process of creating a marketing oriented mascot that really works, requires an intimate knowledge of the entire creative arc (psychology of color, character design, animation, ...) as well as the brand, product or service you want to promote.

Fotifoti (© Regalos Personales - Foticos)
Design, 3D adaptation and animation

Kico Nico (© Imaginarium)
3D adaptation and animation

So, if you have a mascot development in mind for your marketing uses, contact us and we will be happy to help you. We are specialists.

At VÓRTICE we greatly value your privacy. Therefore, we do not use own nor third party "cookies" throughout this website.