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April 2, 2012

Marketing with a Mascot – A Guerrilla Marketing Tactic

Looking for ideas to get your company to stand out? Are you on a bootstrapping budget trying to get some cheap publicity using a creative guerrilla marketing tactic? If so, marketing with a mascot might be a unique idea that would work for your company.

Tundra - The Signs of the Mountains Mascot

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (graffiti, sticker bombing, flash mobs) are utilized, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea. The term guerrilla marketing is easily traced to guerrilla warfare which utilizes atypical tactics to achieve a goal in a competitive and unforgiving environment. – Wikepedia.com

Mascots Seem to Catch People's Attention

People love to meet mascots, get pictures with them, and give them
a high five. They are also memorable. After doing a little research on guerilla marketing this past fall, I decided to take the plunge and order a Polar Bear mascot for my niche website that sells aluminum signs. The website, SignsoftheMountains.com, is an internet retail store that I've been working on the last six months. In an effort to get some publicity and exposure locally, I've used the mascot at events and promotions. He'll also be great for future Youtube videos.

Aren't Mascots Really Expensive?

Mascot costumes certainly can be expensive. Especially if you have one custom made for your company. However, there are many online businesses that sell costumes for between $200-$600. Although the costumes are not customized, you can customize it yourself by throwing a t-shirt on the mascot and some accessories. Tundra (my Polar Bear Mascot for SignsoftheMountains.com) was very affordable. The great thing was that the costume is very good quality as well.

Where do I get a Mascot Costume?

I've found multiple websites online where you can find great deals on Mascots. Amazon.com seems to have a lot of choices. Simply do a search for what you are interested in. Say you are looking for a Grizzly Bear. Here is what you'd find – Bear Costume. I ordered the Polar Bear from DHGATE.com. The reviews of the site weren't the most promising and I honestly didn't know if the costume I ordered was actually going to arrive. Nonetheless, within about 3-4 weeks the polar bear mascot costume arrived and I was very pleased with it.  The costumes are made in China and take a while to clear customs.

Famous Mascots

Mascots are a great way to get attention focused on your business. When I think of Mascots the Geico Gecko, Coke Bear, Pillsbury Dough Boy, and Energizer Bunny come to mind. All of them bring a smile to my face and instantly make me think of the company they represent. While most of our companies are much smaller, they will still help build your brand and get others excited about your company. Click here to see a post with examples of more famous mascots and how they've helped brand their company.

Mascots for Events, Promotions, and Videos

Take your mascot to a tradeshow, farmers market, parade, or next event. Have them dance out on a street corner to wave in customers. Perhaps you are sponsoring an event. Great, take your mascot with to meet everyone! In addition to all the events, you could shoot product and promotional videos using the mascot. Come up with a funny skit and your video with a dancing pig just might go viral. The opportunities are out there, be creative.

A Few Notes About Mascots

I've had success finding friends, family, and college students who love being mascots. You always want to practice walking around in the suit and using gestures prior to going out in public. You want to move slow, watch your step, and be aware of the extra room you need to move around. Otherwise you'll be spilling cokes, tripping, and bumping in to people. Most businesses you are doing promotions at love to have Mascots as guests. However, always ask venues if it is okay to bring in a mascot prior to doing so.

Mascots need a Wing Man or Wing Woman

You'll find that mascots get a lot of attention. People love to high five, hug, and even run up to surprise the mascot. Some people might even enjoy beating up on a mascot. Because of this, you'll need to always have another person with them. They can introduce the mascot to others, watch their back, and guide them up steps and so on. You'll also want to make sure the mascot takes breaks often, as it heats up awful quick wearing a costume.

Brief Video of Mascot in ESPN Commercial – Will give you a good laugh!


Mascots are an excellent way to market and brand your business on a bootstrapping budget. You can order really nice costumes online for much cheaper than you'd think. The costumes will help get you more publicity and customers excited about your brand. We all know that humor sells, and mascots are a great way to add a fun aspect to your company. Best of luck and have fun building your brand.

Please post any comments you have about your experience with mascots for your business or any questions you might have!

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  1. This sounds like a relatively inexpensive way to attract a lot of attention. There are all kinds of events that you could use the mascot. The key is that the mascot is attracting attention from your target audience. So it may work particularly well when your target audience includes parents. I like the idea of making videos of the mascot too. Video marketing can draw a lot of exposure.

  2. Thanks for your comment on guerrilla marketing. Really appreciate it. A target market of mine includes college aged students (as my internet retail business makes ski and snowboard signs). Tundra (the mascot) makes appearances at University promotional events as well as local bars popular among students. They can’t seem to get enough of Tundra! Best of luck with the Modest Money Blog!

    1. This post is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. I came across this article because I was looking for adult costumes. I might convince one of my kids to be our mascot next year! Great post, thank you!

  3. We used a mascot in my previous position and I must say it made a statement! It was a huge way to stand out in the crowd, and it is something that I would 100% due again. Often times our biggest challenge was having someone readily available to wear the mascot. We always has a spotter who had a cameraand captured tons of photos of individuals with our mascot. Our mascot had business cards made, so we directed indivdiuals to our website to see their pictures with the mascot! Chalk that one off as a success!

    1. Abby,

      Thanks for your comment about your experience with using mascots. Great tip about making sure to always have a camera and to hand out the business cards with the website for pictures. That’s an excellent idea. I’m surprised more companies don’t utilize mascots for their marketing. Thanks again and hope all is well over in the Hub City.

  4. I certainly assure that mascots win the hearts of children and adults creating fun and laughter. Mascots definitely stand out of the crown capturing attention and connecting people with your brand or organization. Love when i see these mascot¨s races where all of them have to run with those big heads, The parades are also a great way to participate and have your organization to be notice. They really make a very fun way to do business. I am in the mascot business and creating them is very exiting. See how we can bring these characters come to life and get them in action is amazing.

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