Iconic American brand mascots
With the bizarre rise of threatening clown sightings occurring across the world, McDonald’s has made the decision to cut back on Ronald McDonald’s public appearances.
According to the Associated Press, the company is choosing to be “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participating in community events” thanks to “the current climate around clown sightings in communities.”
While many of the sightings have been discovered to be false, the disturbing clown-related sightings have certainly impacted the world at large. Many would argue that clowns – and Ronald McDonald himself – are already disconcerting, but not all brand mascots divide opinion quite so much. Here are some instantly recognizable characters who inspire a more positive reaction.
A melusine is a feminine freshwater spirit from European folklore, and Starbucks chose to use a Norse woodcut-inspired mermaid-like image as its logo. The logo has changed over the years, beginning as a full view of the creature, before increasingly closing in on its face and further sharpening the image. The unnamed siren is one of the best-known brand images in the world.
Chester is the official logo of Cheetos-brand snacks, and has been likened on and off to a cooler, more outspoken version of the Pink Panther. Over the years he has become less antagonistic and more aimed towards an adult demographic. Originally a puppet, Chester is now computer animated, and remains as iconic as ever.
The Burger Kind is Burger King’s mascot, used in advertising on and off and recently revised. Of all of the characters on this list, The Burger King has undergone the most change as a logo, beginning in the 50s as a chubby, child-like character and evolving into a fully-grown adult man in a plastic mask, widely known as ‘Creepy King’.
A simpler character than the previous two, the Energizer Bunny is a small pink rabbit in sunglasses which beats a drum. Energizer’s consistently simple advertising campaigns have long-featured the bunny beating its drum for far longer than other rabbits, animals, and humans which represent different battery brands. The bunny has become more realistic and expressive over the years, but remains instantly recognizable as a symbol of quality.
Tony the Tiger is the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes – now better known as Frosties – a friendly tiger who interacts with humans to encourage the consumption of sugary cereal. Tony features an instantly recognisable voice and catchphrase, and has taken on more and more humanoid characteristics over the years, inching away from his slinky tiger form and assuming the shape of a muscular man. Despite these changes, Tony is one of the longer-running single-brand mascots still known worldwide today.
We finish with the one and only human mascot on this list, as well as the newest – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. He is the mascot of Old Spice’s 'Smell Like a Man, Man' campaign, and the commercials feature a handsome and topless spokesman (Isaiah Mustafa) in a parody of all things masculine that brings a traditionally old-fashioned brand bang up to date. The commercials have proven appealing in their sense of humour, especially with the later addition of Terry Crews. The original TV campaign went viral, and Old Spice has enjoyed a surprising boost in popularity since.
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Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”