Smokey Bear. McGruff the Crime Dog. Tony the Tiger. The Aflac Duck. The Energizer Bunny.
Spokesanimals can be memorable and effective communicators of your message.
In my last post I talked about when and how to work with celebrities as spokespeople.
After today’s launch of our Re-connecting Kids with Nature PSAs, featuring Shrek, I thought about the use of spokesanimals as messengers.
Here are some advantages
- You don’t have to worry about them speaking out of turn (as you do with human spokespeople)
- If you choose the right one, the spokesanimal can be really appealing to your target audience and they can be very inspiring (McGruff the Crime Dog has helped encourage more than 20 million Americans to join a Neighborhood Watch group!)
- Spokesanimals are timeless (and they can be refreshed). Smokey Bear is turning 66 this August and he looks fabulous!
- And now with social media, your spokesanimal can have an online life of his own (www.facebook.com/smokeybear)
And a few disadvantages
- Your spokesanimal is always fictional so he/she can’t have that human relatable quality
- There can be challenges with licensing/usage rights (depending on who you choose)
So, ultimately, I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
But from my experience, it works best when you choose/create a spokesanimal that is credible and has a personal connection to the issue (as with human spokespeople).
Shrek is from the forest and, therefore, he’s the perfect ogre to communicate the importance of spending time outside for kids. Check out the new PSA and visit www.DiscoverTheForest.org for more on Shrek’s involvement in the campaign.
And let me know your thoughts on the use of spokesanimals!