The growing trend to ditch the brand mascots of yesteryear – costumed characters, furry animals and/or talking cartoon characters whose playful presence lends a spirit of fun and identity to a brand – has been gathering momentum in recent years. Changing an image is one thing. Erasing an entire brand’s populist/institutional memory is another. What gives?
Midwest PR and marketing agency FleishmanHillard decided to find out the difference between what consumers expect from companies and what they actually experience. The resulting study, entitled “Mind the Gap”, looked at 20 different industry categories in the U.S., Germany and China. Do consumers care if a company comes across as authentic and genuine? Does sincerity always carry the day?
After losing the respect of competitors and fans following an explosive report that he used performance enhancing drugs, disgraced cycling champ Lance Armstrong looks to clean up his PR train wreck, complete with noxious chemicals, by chatting up Oprah Winfrey. But will the toxic cloud over Armstrong’s head fade away, or spread its poison forever?