Remember when I told you about the inventive advertising process of mascotization? That’s where you take your product and turn it into a “character” to appear in your ad campaigns. This is done by adding cartoonish facial features, the magic of animation and cutsey voice overs. I originally introduced this idea in a post entitled “Human spam at home and on the road” back in May of 2010.
If your product is a wrench, you draw a face on it and animate. Voila! Instant mascot. And so creative, too. This is important because it’s an opportunity to show your customers your inventive genius from which, they can infer, you’re a great business person with a great product.
In the four years since, this process has continued. And how.
A recent example is television commercials for almond milk. The character is, you guessed it, an almond head with an animated body of sleek greenery. The effect is more than creepy and finished with a snarky voice and attitude.
Well played, inventive people.
Now, this morning, comes word that McDonald’s has added a new character named Happy. This character is a mascot for Happy Meals. You can probably guess what he looks like, right? An advertising genius who makes 50 times more money than me originally floated the idea. “We’re selling happy meals, right? So check this out. We’ll create a character, actually name him Happy, because we love to be subtle, then we’ll make him look like, this is the good part, a Happy Meal.” Voila!
I haven’t seen Happy in action yet, but no doubt he’ll be animated like a squirrel hopped up on Xanax. For his voice I imagine a New York/Bronx accident. “Good nutrition, kids? Happy say fuhgeddaboudit!!!”
Some say Happy looks a little freaky scary and may terrify children. I say, “Isn’t that the point?” Nothing sears into those subliminals like fear, just like searing meat on a grill.
Look carefully at the world around you and I bet you can find more insidious examples of mascotization. Help me add to our database by listing them in the comments section below.
Come on be happy!
“In an unprecedented collaboration, McDonald’s and Polident bring dentures to kids of all ages!”
Excellent. What if Happy Meals provided denture vouches for the future? Only seems fair.
Something like that can only come out of a big committee.
I’m sure it’s scientifically designed to provoke chemical reactions in the brain and make those subliminals override conscious reason. Gimmie one!
I always hoped they’d retire Ronald McDonald, the creepy pedophilic clown, but this addition to their repertoire of weird is no improvement. That thing doesn’t say “Happy Meal” to me — it says “Box on Crack.”
They just doubled down on that je ne sais quoi and quintessential McDondaldsness. Perhaps nightmares of monsters under the bed helps to sell hamburgers. Our poor kids.
I’d like to see some truth in advertising, then. Let’s see an obese, sluggish Ronald.
Not possible. He died of a heart attack some time ago. This new guy is an imposter.