Any business has to emerge as a brand if it has to succeed in the long run. Whether it is growth in sales or popularity, a company cannot accomplish either and other objectives without branding. When we talk about branding, the discussions usually focus on logo, trademark, tagline or philosophy, mission statement, customer service, credibility and other contemporary elements such as website design, social media management and online reputation. All these are integral to branding.
The importance of these elements is not negated when we highlight the relevance of advertising icons in branding. Throughout history, icons or an iconic image has been one of the quintessential factors in building a brand. Whether it is Uncle Sam or Tony the Tiger, icons have been instrumental in conveying a message, establishing a connection with the people at large and then keeping something relevant in larger public discourse.
1) Think of Michelin Man.
He has been around since 1898. A simple message was conveyed with the first Michelin Man, whose real name is Bibendum, which means ‘drinking to be done’ in Latin. Michelin Man represented or conveyed the ability of Michelin tires to drink up obstacles. The public got the message and the icon is still relevant today. The Man has undergone some cosmetic changes, which is obvious given the changes in design and what is considered contemporary. But the message is still the same and the icon is still popular.
2) Mr. Peanut Has Been Around For Almost a Century Now.
The trademark of Planters Nut and Chocolate Company was actually designed by a teenager. The company had organized a contest with a five bucks prize for the winning design which would be used as their trademark. The teenager won and Mr. Peanut became the mascot of the company. He is now dressed up and voiced by the likes of Robert Downey Jr. but he remains the ever popular peanut man.
3) Tony The Tiger Has Become Synonymous With Kellogg’s.
The two are inseparable. One doesn’t even need to spot the name of the brand as long as Tony is visible on the pack. Imagine how effective an advertising icon can be that the entire company becomes just so easily recognizable and loved by entire generations.
There are many such instances, from Kool-Aid Man to Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Doughboy to Aflac Duck, Geico Gecko to Roaming Gnome. If you are working on your branding then try to come up with an advertising icon, which could also be your trademark.