Right here's the best way to create a memorable branded mascot

The history of advertising is peppered with brand characters and mascots. Over the years we've seen quite a number of creatures appear on our screens. Some, like the Duracell Bunny and Tony the Tiger, are old hands, while others, like the AA's dog Tukker, are relatively new. And while some may not consider a branded mascot to be the very latest in creativity, there is no doubt that when done correctly, they are extremely effective.

For VCCP ECD Darren Bailes, creating O2's Bubl robot mascot was the obvious solution to a difficult assignment. “We tried to tell people how good the network is, but the O2 network is invisible,” he explains. “It happens around us a billion times a day, but nobody ever sees anything. Bubl was a way to make the invisible visible. "

According to Bailes, who was also a member of the team that launched PG Tips & # 39; Monkey, this is where mascots can really shine and bring a certain aspect or personification of a brand to life. For companies that have difficulty conveying an idea or concept, branding offers an immediate and understandable way to do so. But that doesn't mean it's the easy answer.

Although Bailes says the idea for Bubl “felt right” immediately, there was a lot to do to make it work. The robot had to be warm and charming, with some technical advantage, but not so much that the character became clinical. “We wanted it to be a little lo-fi and imperfect and small,” he explains. "It's not scary, it's just a friendly thing that is there to help you make sure you get your stuff done, take the train and do simple things like this."