The news have travelled around the world: Kermit and Miss Piggy is getting a divorce!
It has caused rather strong reactions – on social media, in articles and so on. The divorce and the media covering of it has been compared to the break up of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
And Kermit is now proclaimed as the bad guy because he found a new girfriend. People are reacting just like if Kermit and Miss Piggy were real people.
The news was announced on the couples Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Muppets and other characters that are having an independent life – including social media identities – outside the film, the game or tv show in which they are appearing is not something new.
Also brand characters (that differs from for example The Muppet show muppets by representing or marketing a brand – and not being a part the product itself) tend to get an independent life outside their brand and treated as if the were real persons.
Consider for example Ronald McDonald attending group terapy with his fellow mascot-collegues:
Ronald: “I’m a burger mascot and everybody hates me.”
All: “That’s OK, Ronald.”
Ronald: “I can’t even believe I’m here. I thought I was well liked. Now I’ve become some kind of childhood obesity villain.”
Big Boy: “If anyone should be that, it’s me, Ronald. I’ve been portly since 1960. Chubby was cute back then. …
Brand Mascots become villains: Group therapy with Ronald McDonald, Davis Taylor, Central Penn Business Journal, 2011
Brand characters also have social media profiles.
And that is quite logical since a recommendation when designing a brand character is to give the character a distinct personality and avoiding wearout by keeping the character modern.
So giving a brand character a life of it’s own on social media might be a good idea.
But be aware. In her article 5 Ways to Create Brand Mascot Content That Doesn’t Suck Becca Frasier writes about the pitfall mascots with social media accounts face (they ‘can easily feel spammy or fivolous) and she presents ideas on how to manage the situation:
- Share user generated content
- Have a sense of humor and sport a unique personality
- Engage with fans