The energy drink market is an extremely competitive industry making it very difficult for any new company to penetrate the market and create a customer base. Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks needed a way to carve out an identity. By combining old school and new school marketing tactics, ASPIRE® did just that, with the help of their “Gals”.
Current energy drink manufacturers use extreme stunts and sports to advertise their products. Instead, ASPIRE’s goal was to market their products to a demographic with a more health-conscious mindset. Turns out, that health-conscious demographic looks like small business owners, hard-working moms, and everyday 9-5ers. These everyday people needed a boost during the day that would (a) energize them, (b) supply them with healthy vitamins/nutrients, and (c) not lead to a crash once the caffeine ran its course.
“How do we reach these people?”, asked ASPIRE’s CMO, Kim Feil. We caught up with Kim to see just how they answered this question. This is where mascots come into play.
Mascot’s capture everyone’s attention. Our eyes are naturally drawn to animated movement, bright colors, and eye-popping designs. ASPIRE has been sending The Gals all over the nation. They attend music festivals, expos, parties, and a ton of other events. Heck, you can even find them in your local grocery store!
Here is a brief list of some of the appearances so far. Hopefully this gives you a taste of what The Gals are all about…
At these events, you can find The Gals mingling with the crowd, dancing, handing out free samples, and even playing with a dog or two. Everyone they encounter is left with a lasting memory of ASPIRE, and oftentimes a few new selfies with the Gals.
Kim’s belief that “old marketing can be new again” is what led to old-school mascot marketing to be combined with new-school marketing tactics. “Social media marketing and influencer marketing are extremely popular right now,” and Kim found a way to integrate them with her mascots in a way that advertises ASPIRE like no other. Lucky for us, she is willing to share some of the secrets behind her success!
The logistics of managing all these events can get overwhelming; which is why Kim recommends appointing a manager of your mascot. This person needs to be willing and able to manage events for the mascot to attend, clean the mascot, find talent, and be able to transport the mascot and supplies to and from events. Be sure you have a vehicle big enough (or a box if you’re shipping it) to fit your mascot costumes inside. Your mascot manager will need to get down and dirty in the trenches with the mascots, being sure they have everything they need to succeed in the field.
The logistics of managing all of these events can get overwhelming, this is why Kim recommends appointing a manager of your mascot. This person needs to be willing and able to manage events for the mascot to attend, clean the mascot after each use, find mascot talent, and be able to transport the mascot to and from events. Be sure you have a vehicle big enough (or a box if you’re shipping it) to fit your mascot costumes inside. Your mascot manager should be willing to get down and dirty in the trenches with the mascots, being sure they have everything they need to succeed in the field.
The ASPIRE “Gals” travel all over the country and given that there is a total of 11 of them, keeping track of the mascot costumes and their accessories can be challenging. In response, they developed a system of keeping tabs on the costumes. They made a check-in/check-out process that helps keep the costumes together when being transferred to different locations. Having a system in place is a huge help. It allows you to immediately identify when something has been damaged or gone missing and ensures you will never forget anything ahead of the next event.
We asked Kim to provide us with some mascot knowledge that she would pass on to others considering a mascot purchase. Having a total of 11 mascots at ASPIRE, she has become an expert in keeping them properly maintained, expertly managed, and ready to take on any adventure.
During these events, The Gals are on full display interacting with patrons throughout the event. You’ll find them posing for pictures, dancing, and handing out drinks. Kim likes to think of them as, “walking social billboards”, and we couldn’t agree more.
Another cool thing ASPIRE did was attach a QR code to the mascot costumes. The QR code could be scanned by any passerby and directly linked to ASPIRE’s social media accounts. This QR code is a great way to keep consumers engaged with the brand beyond their first interaction with The Gals.
Have a protocol on how your mascot engages with people. Give your mascot personality, and let your performer know how you want your mascot’s character to be presented. A great way to do this is through a written character biography or even just a simple write-up of “Do’s and Don’ts”.
Temp agencies can be a great place to find Mascot performer talent. Many agencies have temps that specialize in sales, acting, or event marketing and have similar experiences that can bring your mascot character to life!
Give your mascots a break! Kim’s mascots are usually found in warm climates, so she gives her performers a break every 30-35 minutes. This gives them a good amount of time to recover energy, hydrate, and maintain their top level of performance.