Each one of us can probably recollect our earliest memories of mascots that we would chase after. Poor sods. Always got a beating from the kids. My personal favourite was Tony the tiger who appeared on the Kellogg’s Frosties pack.
But mascots just like a logo play an integral part in building a brand. Today morning I caught the daily morning talk show round-ups and one guest was from the 2012 Olympics and he was talking about their mascots. Odd looking creatures but none-the-less their objective is similar to everyone elses. Improve recall, spread the the message of the brand and build a stronger relationship with people.
Now I’m sure most of you know the following mascots:
- Ronald McDonald
- Joe Camel
- The Marlbourough Man
- Mickey Mouse
- Energizer Bunny
- Kool Aid man
- Colonel Sanders
- Quicky the bunny
- Michelin Man
But do you know the 2012 Olympic mascots? Cue Wenlock & Mandeville.
Odd looking creatures. While public sentiment on the creatures are at an all time low, when we break them apart we actually see that there is more to Wenlock & Mandeville.
First, the names, which might ring a few geographical bells: Wenlock is named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock where, in the mid-19th century, the Wenlock Games became the inspiration for the modern Olympic movement.
Mandeville’s name is derived from Stoke Mandeville, in Buckinghamshire, home to Stoke Mandeville Hospital. In the 1940s, Dr Ludwig Guttmann came to the hospital to set up a spinal unit. Looking for ways to inspire the soldiers in his care he established the Stoke Mandeville Games, widely recognised as a forerunner to the modern Paralympics.
The characters are said to have been fashioned from the last drops of steel left over from the final support girder of the Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London.The one-eyed figures were created by London-based creative agency Iris, whose clients include Wonderbra and Argos.
The duo have been given their own story, written by author Michael Morpurgo which has been turned into an animated film.
They also get their own website, and even individual Twitter and Facebook pages.
But while all of this has been done to create a mascot, one might feel that they overcomplicated it. It’s a mascot that people will find difficult to resonate with due to the abnormalities in its creation.
But while it won’t be an instant hit, it will garner rememberence as it is definitely unique. But whether or not it garners good will shall be interesting to watch.