Tue, 17 Jan 2023 10:44:52 GMT
As the advertising landscape becomes hyper-saturated with new platforms competing for consumer attention, brands cut through the clutter with memorable legacy characters. The likes of Ronald McDonald, Tony the Tiger, and Louie the Fly are examples of successful characters that yield high engagement value for their target audience. But even a one of character, if thoughtfully designed and well-written can penetrate.
Whether it’s a cartoon, a CGI, a human or a muppet, brands that make space for the craft of character creation can succeed in connecting with consumers to drive increased share of voice in the market and sales. We take a look at five recent campaigns from the AUNZ market with impactful characters.
Agency: Bear Meets Eagle on Fire
Lil Deets and Jackpot are the latest in a long line of puppets Bear Meets Eagle On Fire have created to celebrate both Rollin’s car insurance and classic hip hop.
The connection might not be obvious, but when we asked Bear Meets Eagle’s CEO and founder Micah Walker about just why they put stock in puppets recounting hip-hop to sell car insurance, he had this to say:
“Creating a unique voice and identity isn’t just about fonts, colours and brand books, it's about creating a world that you can continue to build on over time. So yes, there’s a specific and conscious filter we apply to everything ROLLIN' does, and that includes hip-hop and irreverent characters.”
Agency: DDB Melbourne
Roger, who is, we are assured, definitely a real human mascot and not… anything else, is here to tell you about Dabble, an online betting app.
The app prioritises a social, peer-based gaming experience; something novel in a field head of planning Matt Pearce described as being without “much innovation.”
To that end, Roger is meant to emulate… after a fashion… the joys one gets from social gaming and a friendly betting environment. As creative director James Cowie puts it:
“A lot of Dabble’s peers go for a kind of comedy that is centred on a distinctly male Australian sports fan. Dabble is building a brand that is modern and relevant today to appeal to a younger generation, so we wanted to create a tone that was less targeted at the classically male sensibilities that you find in most sports betting ads. And giving Roger an underdog streak was part of that.”
To read more about the creative process behind Roger, go here.
The team managed to create a character that was instantly endearing, pathetic, and deeply, deeply weird. He’s not someone we’ll forget anytime soon, and, as long as we remember Roger, we’ll remember Dabble.
The big pink blob first lit up screens as a personification of Powershop all the way back in 2019. Thought up by the team at EightyOne, it was the brilliant production work at FINCH that brought him to life this time around, in a campaign where Powershop is turned into a literal power shop.
Just what is it that makes the big pink fella (and the neon world he inhabits) so appealing? Well, to start with, he’s friend shaped. Tell me you don’t want to just give me an enormous hug?
Second of all, there’s a charming simplicity to all his worlds and all his stories. The ads are shot with locked down, stable camera placements. If the camera moves, it’s on a dolly track. It never shakes, it’s never handheld. This kind of craft means that the whole world assumes a quaint, almost silent comedy air, rather like something out of Paddington or a Taika Waitit film.
Simple, elegant, visually captivating: what’s not to love about the big pink blob?
Agency: M&C Saatchi Australia
Here, we have perhaps the most classic character on our list: a kangaroo showing off the virtues of Australia.
Ruby, voiced by Rose Byrne, is here to welcome visitors back to the country as the world reopens. One of those visitors is Louie, a toy unicorn voiced by Will Arnett.
When we asked M&C Saatchi CCO Cam Blackley about the character choice, he offered, “There was a beautiful ease to the concept of a souvenir Kangaroo essentially acting as a tour guide for the audience, plus it was immediately apparent that Ruby (the roo) would be a remarkable asset that would act as the red thread through over 900 pieces of content.”
Sometimes, then, the classic choice really is the way to go.
Find out more about what went on behind the scenes in the creation of Ruby and Louie.
One could make a case that the real star of Unlisted’s hypnotic animated music video is the song itself, or maybe the animation. Both mesmerise through repetition, with the cartoon spiralling fractally as it carries your eyes away on an ever-crazier highway of technicolour dreams for Gami Chicken.
But there is a character here; one whose instantly iconic design calls to mind Saturday morning cartoons and classic mascots of days past. The rockabilly chicken is immediately eye-catching, and his song is an impossible earworm.
When you have the limited space of a single ad to communicate an idea, simple character designs and jingles will get you far. And then to hypercharge those and create an onslaught of energy no-one can look away from… that will get you remembered.