Knights, Pirates, Trees Flock to Facebook

Captain Morgan

Mascots and Other Embodiments of Corporations Make a Comeback in Order to Tweet and Interact

A new marketing campaign for StubHub, the ticket-resale website, stars a 25-foot-high animatronic talking tree with tickets as leaves. In commercials, the tree, known as the “Ticket Oak,” lives in a suburban backyard and doles out tickets to neighbors.

It is quite a departure from StubHub’s last ad campaign, which showed people dreaming about getting a ticket to a concert or a big game. But with the Ticket Oak character, StubHub hopes to make a splash on Facebook and other media.

StubHub, a unit of eBay Inc., (EBAY +2.67%) is just one of a number of marketers that have turned to characters—both live action and animated—to help sell their products in the past year. Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL +0.96%) now has a little cartoon knight named Sir Can A-Lot. Diageo (DEO +2.01%) PLC launched an ad campaign for its Captain Morgan rum last May that starred a live-action Captain character. It is the first time the character has appeared in TV ads, although the rum’s label has long included a drawing of the pirate.

Ad executives say consumers on Facebook are more likely to bond with a character than the traditional company page on the social-media website.

“Consumers are less likely to have a conversation with a logo or a PR guy on social media,” said Jeff Charney, chief marketing officer for auto insurer Progressive Corp. (PGR +1.36%).  Since 2008, Progressive’s TV ads have centered on a perky sales clerk named Flo, who touts the insurer’s rates. She now has 3.5 million fans on Facebook, where she posts comments about new Progressive products.Characters also offer a softer way to sell a product, which is important on social media where executives fear that blatant selling or promotion can turn people off.

via Knights, Pirates, Trees Flock to Facebook – WSJ

Strange Random Mascot Quote:

“Did anybody notice that the NCAA made the ridiculous ruling banning American Indian mascots from its headquarters in INDIANapolis, INDIANa? … Just wondering.” – Mike Bianchi

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Posted on March 27, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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