Research Says Brand Mascots Boost Market Share


Many brands especially older brands have a brand mascot, these characters have helped the brand reach iconic statuses. These characters have helped make these iconic brands become instantly recognizable. Walt Disney has Mickey Mouse, Michelin has Michelin man, Kellog’s Frosties has Tony the Tiger and the list can go on forever. These brand mascots have made these brands a household name.

In recent years, we have seen a decline in brands having a mascot; many assumed that they lost their appeal. They assumed that they had little or no effect on improving marketing and advertising effectiveness. Well, if you thought so, then you are wrong.  According to a study by global marketing research firm System1, these “fictitious characters” increase advertising effectiveness.

Research Says Brand Mascots Boost Market Share

System1’s study used data from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is a U.K. trade body that represents agencies. System 1 used the data they collected in 2017-18. It revealed that campaigns including a mascot are 37% more likely to increase market share than ones without.

According to the study, these campaigns are also 27% more likely to increase customer gains and 30% more likely to grow profit gains. The methodology behind these numbers is unclear.

More on System1’s Study on Brand Mascot

Even though these brand characters are very effective in marketing, they are a dying breed. According to System1, the use of mascots in entries to the IPA’s Effectiveness Awards has decreased from 41% in 1992 to just 12% in 2018.  System1’s study revealed that in the U.S only 4% of ads still used mascots as of 2018.

System1 didn’t just rely on the data from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising alone. They also have their own internal data to drive home the point. The firm analysed emotional responses to ads to predict a brand’s long-term growth potential (it states that emotional appeals are more effective than rational ones). The data found that brands that use “memorable characters” are 50% more likely to resonate with consumers.

System1 also conducted a separate study on the topic with London-based marketing and advertising research company Lumen. The study revealed a brand mascot can increase ad viewability in a digital context and extend dwell time, the latter by as much as 50%.

System1 Speaks on Its Research

Orlando Wood, chief innovation officer at System1 Group spoke about the study. He stated that repeatedly used characters elicit a powerful emotional response and can be instantly recognized anywhere, making them indispensable in the digital era.

Tom Ewing, head of marketing at System1 Group also spoke on the study. He stated that the study proves that the characters we all love in advertising aren’t just good fun; they’re good business. He then talked about how It’s a tragedy for creativity that they’ve declined so strongly.


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