Using cartoon characters for business as a marketing tool is powerful. This is because it presents your business concept or product in a visually fun, engaging way that is simple for customers to relate to and understand.

Using Cartoon Characters in Marketing

Cartoon characters are often used in marketing as a tool to attract customers. The main reason they work is that a cartoon character visually grabs potential customers' attention.

The process of marketing goes something like this:

  • The cartoon character draws attention.
  • The client can address whatever the customer's concerns may be about a product or service.
  • The customer's interest level in knowing more is raised.
  • The client provides a solution for the product or service that justifies the price.

The step most brands fail at achieving is the first one: drawing attention. Failing this is a sure way to sabotage a business before, during, and after it's up and running.

Modern customers have a thousand things a minute going on in their lives. When they visit a website, check an ad, or receive an email, if there is nothing of substance to grasp their attention, the marketing strategy has failed.

This is when a powerful visual weapon is needed. Cartoon characters fill this marketing need. Here's why:

  • Simplicity sells.
  • People will buy if they understand a product quickly.
  • Cartoon characters can make the most complicated product or service easy to digest.
  • Cartoon characters are visually engaging.

Research by 3M Corporation determined that the human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than plain text. But why are cartoon characters more successful than other types of visual media? There are several reasons:

  • People relate to cartoon characters because many represent people's lives.
  • A cartoon character is relatable.
  • Cartoon characters connect easily with people.
  • Cartoon characters can be used to address sensitive topics without being disturbing to viewers.
  • Cartoon characters can represent the realities of life in a softer way that is less disturbing to viewers.

The emotional connection between the cartoon character and the viewer enables the viewer to be more open to listening to you and learning more about your products or services. With interest raised and attention gained, the lines of communication are open to the buying audience.

Benefits of Cartoon Characters and Marketing

Almost everyone can relate to and feel affection for a cartoon character. Not only are they more appealing than real people, but they also spark nostalgia for people who remember cartoon characters from their childhood. This fact makes people more at ease since cartoons are familiar and evoke happy memories.

Cartoon characters are fun and entertaining, and they can easily express emotions. Think of social media and the millions of people who are entertained by expressive emoticons and how much better those symbols capture feelings compared to plain text. People are similarly drawn to cartoon characters.

  • With a cartoon character, a brand is more recognizable.
  • Customers are more likely to remember your product or service.
  • Cartoon characters evoke friendliness and trust.
  • Tedious ads are more interesting with cartoon characters.
  • Cartoon characters hold the interest of the audience much longer than walls of text.
  • A cartoon character is versatile and works in many areas, including videos, blogs, advertising, and company presentations.

Do's and Don'ts of Using Cartoon Characters

When used properly, a brand mascot featuring a cartoon character can make an indelible impression on a targeted audience, resulting in a highly recognizable product. This can help a brand stand out among its competitors, thus adding value and potentially leading to higher prices and more profits.

On the reverse side, if the marketing tactic is put together poorly, it can negatively affect the brand. This can undermine the quality and value of the ad and tarnish the brand.

Note that using a famous cartoon character can lead to a lawsuit. Before attempting to use a famous cartoon character, be aware that there is copyright protection under U.S. copyright laws. Along with copyright laws, characters can be protected via trademark law and rights of publicity. It is recommended that you use your own original character or get a brand license.

If you need help with understanding how to use cartoon characters for business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.