MASCOTS MAT­TER

Computer Arts - - Project Diary -

Thomas Dab­ner ex­plains how cre­at­ing a mas­cot for a brand can re­ally help it con­nect with peo­ple It’s easy to dis­miss a mas­cot as some­thing triv­ial, but char­ac­ters are a proven way of help­ing peo­ple di­gest a mes­sage or un­der­stand a nar­ra­tive, even if it’s a dif­fi­cult one. Pixar’s Find­ing Nemo is es­sen­tially the story of a sin­gle par­ent re­con­nect­ing with his son, but told us­ing an­i­mated fish. It’s got tough themes – the death of a par­ent in the first scene, sharks who are ad­dicted to blood and the fear of sep­a­ra­tion, but they are all bril­liantly and softly com­pelling. Peo­ple turn to sto­ry­telling like this in times of cri­sis and need.

The mas­cot we de­signed is rid­ing solo at ini­tial launch. Af­ter much de­lib­er­a­tion and de­bate as to whether a modern fam­ily or even a non-hu­man coun­ter­part would work bet­ter, we landed on a sin­gle-minded ap­proach as the right so­lu­tion to start with. Still, as time goes on, the Be­yond fam­ily may grow.

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