Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dancing with Mr. Pickle

Mr. Pickle holds a sign advertising the location of his sandwich shop.

Of all the types of advertising, having some poor fellow stand on the sidewalk, holding a sign, seems to be the least effective. I always just drive right past them, scarcely noticing them or their message. And that's the problem! A message unread is a failure of communication. The business is paying good money to hire some chump to stand on the sidewalk and the employee is wasting precious time under the relentless sun breathing car exhaust for chump pay. It seems to be a lose lose situation.

However, if the employee is wearing a costume absurd enough to capture the drivers attention, then the situation changes. This is further intensified if the employee does something engaging, like dancing or hopping about. Suddenly, it isn't some poor slob languishing on the sidewalk. It's a costumed mascot providing the bored driver with streetside entertainment. Moreover, the held sign becomes a focus of the street performance! Now, we're making progress on building brand awareness. ;-)

Best of all, kids love dancing mascots. An appealing costume and talented performance can drive kids to nag their parents to visit the shop where they can see the mascot. That's the appeal of one of the most famous fast-food mascot, Ronald McDonald, although his antics originated in televised ads.

"I'm Lovin' It", Ronald McDonald leads the youngsters into his restaurant.

So, next time you're driving down the street and see some poor chump hopping around in a gorilla suit, considered whether this is effective marketing. Does this drive customers to the advertised business?

And be cool to the humiliated employee underneath the silly costume. They're people too.

Here are some vids of costumed mascots at work.




  1. We put funny local newspaper headlines on the tip jar at work. One of my favorites is "Man in banana suit attacks man in gorilla suit".

  2. Yeah, I saw that story. Poor gorilla. ;-)