Making Mascots Work

Mascots Peggy Jr

We love our costumes. We love creating them, giving them personality and watching them come to life but often, when they leave, we hear very little of their adventures.

It’s always great to learn when a mascot has been a success, made a difference to a company or event and improved engagement and we were keen to stay in touch with Smorgaldy and Porgan, two happy, kindhearted and generous little dogs with a strong and positive message for their audience.

The Adelaide based publishing house Peggy Jr released the first Smorgaldy and Porgan book in April 2015 and having had a pretty demoralising experience with an overseas costume company they came across Kanga Paws.

It’s now been some time since Smorgaldy and Porgan left KP Studios but it was extraordinary to learn from Brad Gilbertson how the costumes have been received and how Peggy Jr are truly making the most of their mascots:

Why did you choose to have these mascots made and what were your expectations?

“We initially looked into the idea of mascots to promote our first published children’s book Smorgaldy and Porgan , along side of an App/game, activity books and other content, the mascots were to be part of the marketing. We had a poor experience with an overseas company initially when attempting to create mascots so by the time we came across Kanga Paws we were weary. We explained our previous experience to Catherine and she assured us we would not be disappointed with her version of our characters. We were unsure what to expect given previous experience but went ahead cautiously optimistic.”

How have the mascots been used and has your promotional activity changed at all?

“Since receiving the costumes they have become a focal point of our business, not just for their book but we have moved them now into part of our children’s entertainment group Blast Off. Within Blast Off, the mascot character appear in the opening skit as we find it to have the greatest impact to grabbing the audience attention as the four other characters are human characters. The kids seeing Smorgaldy and Porgan come onto the stage always evokes a stir of laughter and excitement. The mascots also appear in two to three songs during the stage show and Smorgaldy and Porgan are also on the Blast Off Season One DVD and have come out great on film also.”

How have the costumes been received by the audience?

“The first time the mascots attended an author appearance was to around 90 children and when Smorgaldy and Porgan popped in for a surprise visit it was like the Beatles had entered the room, the impact was incredible.”

If you can compare this project to previous experiences, how has having the costumes impacted upon things like customer engagement?

“As a main feature of the Blast Off concert and DVD we see them as a vital part of the group, after concerts they are mobbed during meet and greets and seem to captivate any child that meets them.”

What has been the biggest surprise for you, what have you learnt from having the mascots?

“The high quality and build of the characters was initially an enormous relief after our previous experience, we feel that they are a great and true representation of the characters. More so than that it has been seeing over time just how adored they have become by their fans and even for us. Although we know they are suits with people in them, there is still sense of intrigue and magic seeing them come to life.”

Should the need arise, would you consider commissioning another mascot in the future?

“Absolutely without hesitation.”

Thank you Brad

Click to find out more about Smorgaldy and Porgan and other Peggy Jr characters.