Did that title sound weird to you? Well, it should. If I said Kool-Aid, Pillsbury and Maytag, would that make a little more sense? Make the connection? That right there folks, is the brilliance of brand personification.
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Maytag Man campaign, and if you haven’t, stop reading and watch it. Taking the very first exhibition of the Maytag Man and giving it a more literal spin, the brand has kept its witty humor and automatic relatability. It’s brilliant. Every time I see one, I’m visually intrigued, can’t help but to laugh and without a doubt always crack a smile. I think this is by far the best advertising campaign out there right now, and I chalk it all up to the extensive capabilities of brand personification.
Maytag makes appliances. Appliances, people! There’s nothing sexy, fun or exciting about appliances. Yet, Maytag has personified their product into a human appliance that makes people laugh, smile and most importantly remember them. Not only does the brand develop an emotional reaction and connection with the Maytag Man, but also visually convey their message that Maytag appliances work hard for you.
But how about food? Food is inherently fun. You can eat it, dunk it, dip it, mix it, make it… the list goes on and on. It gives us a pleasure that appliances will never give us. Personified brands like Pillsbury, Keebler and Kool-Aid seem more logical. But, they are so brilliantly crafted to represent and create the brand personality. Think about it. Pillsbury products are warm, fluffy baked in the oven goodness and so is the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Hoo-hoo. Kool-Aid is a sugar rush, tart, sweet party in your mouth, and hey, the Kool-Aid Man bursts through your wall and brings the party. Oh yeahhhh!
I know what you’re thinking: what about the epic Mac versus PC campaign? With this, most comparably brilliant as the Maytag campaign, the advertisers took something totally technological and gave it a personality, a trendy, hip and smooth personality I might add. And, they made their Apple products into a person. Talk about literal personification… and what’s more relatable than that? If you think Apple you think cool and sexy. All because of a little personification. These created personalities embody brands, and even other brands can’t help but to use them.
Now I can’t write about brand personification without giving a shout-out to the most successful personifying brand and one of the only brands to have multiple characters out there, Geico. They have the ever-so classic-Gecko, the Cavemen and the creepy and definitely not my favorite, money-with-eyes Kash. They even incorporated the Pillsbury Doughboy into one of their commercials. But, with all of them, you can’t help but to giggle and smile at their witty humor and how they make insurance (which I think might be even more boring than appliances) exciting.
I could go on and on about all the awesome brand personifications out there, but I’ll just get to my original point. Being able to take something inanimate and mundane and give it a personality, make people remember it, talk about it and like it is a perfect illustration of what makes what we do in the advertising and marketing world so imaginative and so incredible.