Using Characters to promote Brands
Characters give brands immediate and unquestioned access to huge online communities eager to invite them in.
The reason for this is that characters represent entertainment and this opens the door for brand messages that would otherwise have had a much tougher job of getting through.
Characters also enhance the viral aspect of a marketing campaign. Viral marketing is traditional Word-of-Mouth marketing enhanced by technology which allows it to spread exponentially.
Below are some of the media formats which characters can successfully exploit:
|Animation has the power to draw people into a storyline and then create a powerful emotional impact, be it something funny, shocking or mind-blowing. By associating your brand message with the emotional high, the message has a much better chance of being noticed, remembered and acted upon. Viral videos can be applied to any product or service imaginable because all they need to do is hit the right emotional note.
Video Advertising has a strong responsiveness with 80% viewing an ad, 52% taking action, including 16% making a purchase.(online-publishers association)
In 2009 Google Sites surpassed 10 Billion video views in August alone with the average viewer watching 10 hours of online video during the month.
Characters offer access to Video portals
YouTube (175,000,000 visitors per month)
Hulu (27,500,000 visitors per month)
DailyMotion (23,000,000 visitors per month)
| Games work brilliantly at establishing brand retention because games, more than any other media, have the ability to retain user attention repeatedly for long periods of time. The longer a person spends time with your brand the more likely they are to remember your brand at the point where they require your product or service.
The average game player is 35 years old and has been playing games for 13 years.
Online casual games bring in 150 million women every month.
Forty percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent). (FutureLab)
Characters offer access to game portals
YahooGames (22,000,000 visitors per month)
IGN (20,500,000 visitors per month)
GameSpot (20,000,000 visitors per month)
|Cartoons are brilliant at spreading a brand message. They are cost effective to produce, can form part of an ongoing series and they are easily distributed by users through email. They are also easy to integrate into personal websites and blogs where they continue to promote your brand message. Any product or service can form the basis of a cartoon series.
Characters offer access to humour sites
Break (11,000,000 visitors per month)
CollegeHumour (6,000,000 visitors per month)
FailBolg (4,300,000 visitors per month)
|The great advantage of blogs is that they encourage conversations with the audience which allows brand owners to build lasting relationships with their potential customers. But let’s face it; very few people would want to follow the blogs of a toaster manufacturer. They would, however, follow the antics of a character cracking hilarious toaster jokes or one that collects the most extraordinary toaster shapes. Characters allow brand messages to be packaged in highly creative, attractive and effective ways.
77% of Internet users read blogs
Characters offer access to popular Blogs
HuffingtonPost (28,000,000 visitors per month)
TMZ (17,000,000 visitors per month)
engadget (11,500,000 visitors per month)
|Bookmarking sites such as Twitter is a brilliant way of keeping people informed about company products and services, but just as with blogs, few people would want to sign up to announcements from a duct tape manufacturer. However, a character inventing new and creative ways to use duck tape and announcing the latest invention to his eager followers is another matter all together.
Characters are good at making contact through bookmarking sites
Twitter (80,500,000 visitors per month)
Digg (45,000,000 visitors per month)
Reddit (16,500,000 visitors per month)
|Social media websites are about conversation and interaction between people online. A toaster is not a person. A toaster in the form of a character or a character living in a toaster, however, has all the attributes to attract friends and create conversations.
Characters can have their own successful social media pages
Facebook (250,000,000 visitors per month)
flickr (79,000,000 visitors per month)
Bebo (40,000,000 visitors per month)
|Online comics fall into the same categories as animation and games: they have the story hook of animations and the repetitive attraction of a game. With a comic you can indefinitely draw people back to your website through serialised story releases, with the growing fan base getting notified through email newsletters and through websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Characters offer access to Comic listing sites
Ask yourself this simple question: which of the two ads on the right would be the more likely to capture your attention in an information overloaded website?
|"Death by PowerPoint" is a criticism of slide-based presentations referring to a state of boredom and fatigue induced by information overload during presentations such as those created by the Microsoft application PowerPoint. (Wikipedia).
Characters can save millions from such a horrible death. They will be eternally grateful to you and your brand and might even set up a monument in honour of your brand.
GrinLock has over 25 years experience in developing characters for animation, games, viral marketing and presentations. Please visit our character Showcase HERE
By Philippe Ingels