Often when I explain about my research project I meet the reaction, that brand characters are for kids. Ie.: That it is not serious business, that respectable brands do not have a character etc.
No one can really imagine Mærsk having a jolly character. Or am I mistaken?
And of course there could be many ways to humanize af viusual identity
One of the aspects of brand character design I am investigating is the question:
Is it suitable or relevant for all types of brands to have a character?
When I take an overview of the landscape of brand characters it seems as if the majority of brand characters belongs to brands related to hedonistic products: ie. food, entertainment, leisure activities.
I also see a tendency that many brands apparantly have kids as their target group when designing and using their character. And that is also supported by research that show that children are more likely to anthropomophize. So children may be more susceptible to brand characters in general. And they may also be more hedonistic.
But as one of the masters of character design (Walt Disney) remarks here, there is a child in all of us.
Examples of brand characters targeted a grown-up audience:
Yojiya – japanese cosmetics company and coffee shop
Osprey Brewing Company