MPC publishes a white paper on the use of branded mascots and personas


LONDON — The award-winning global creative studio The Moving Picture Company (MPC), a Technicolor Creative Studios company, has released a research-based white paper on the effectiveness of mascots and branded characters.

Renowned for its Oscar-winning film characters [The Lion King] and award-winning advertising at the Cannes Lions [John Lewis, ‘The Boy and the Piano’; Hennessy ‘The Seven Worlds’] and with 50 years of experience under their belt, MPC felt it was time to put the role of CG characters to the test.

Using sources from academics, analysts, market researchers, advertising agencies and industry peers, MPC explores recent evidence of the impact of characters on earnings, share of voice and brand commitment. The research analyzes in detail some of the most effective brand characters of the past decade, including John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin, GEICO’s Gecko, Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot and Samsung’s Ostrich (“Do What You Can’t” campaign). ) and the new mascot Bubl.

As they embarked on initial research, they found growing evidence demonstrating that advertising with brand characters and mascots not only has long-term effectiveness, but can also facilitate stronger brand engagement, increase profits and share of voice and create a deeper emotional connection with consumers.

Summary of Findings

* A long-running campaign featuring a device that is fluent in characters will, on average, increase market share gain by 41%, compared to 29.7% for campaigns not featuring a character.

*Similarly, long-term campaigns with a character-fluid device will increase profit gain by 34.1%, compared to 26.2% for campaigns without.

*Long-term campaigns with a fluid device will increase new customer wins by an average of 40.9%, compared to 32% for campaigns without.

* In 2018, ads in the US featuring a device that reads characters generated 8% more share of voice than campaigns without a device.

* Even brands with a smooth device don’t use it much. Of these brands, 63% use their persona in TV commercials. On Facebook, it drops to 25% on average, and only 21% use it on Twitter.

* Emotionally directed campaigns will generate almost double the benefits of non-emotionally directed campaigns over a three year period.

* In 1992, 41% of campaigns used a fluid device (a common character or theme). However, today the number has dropped to 12%.

* In the UK, only 7% of adverts feature a device to read characters. In the United States, it drops to 4%.

Mark Benson, CEO of MPC, comments: “Over the past 20 years, MPC has become one of the world leaders in character and creature development in CG. We have always believed that characters and creatures can move people, not only in entertainment but also in advertising. This research was commissioned to test this hypothesis. We live in a time when brands are struggling to navigate ever-crowded media spaces with their advertising. As the global pandemic unfolded in 2020, marketers faced some of the biggest challenges yet. We wanted to provide brands with practical information that could help them decide on their next campaign.

The white paper is available at:


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