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Fido Dido: Can This Mascot Take 7up’s Audience Engagement To A New Level In 2023?

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If you can recall, how many times have you seen animations or unique characters that you could recognize and immediately associate with any brand? Your list might include the Michelin man, Tony the tiger of Kellogg’s cereal, Mickey Mouse of The Walt Disney Company, and Colonel Sanders of KFC among others. That is exactly what mascots, like Fido Dido of 7up, are created to do in marketing.

A brand mascot can be an object, a person, an animal, or a completely invented character to strengthen and personify the brand. It can amplify its reach and is considered a smart and funny way to build the brand’s personality and consequently make its marketing, special and unique.

A mascot can easily grab the attention of the audience without using many words. It can Increase brand awareness and expand audience engagement, establishing a personal and emotional connection with various audiences. At a point it becomes an integral part and active character of the brand, eventually emerging as the face of the brand.

The story of one of the world’s most successful mascots, Fido Dido beats the logic of how a cartoon can catch the imagination of generations. It was in 1987, that Fido Dido, a cartoon with frizzy hair, came into the consciousness of the public through 7Up ads. This cartoon character became famous as PepsiCo mascot for 7Up, and that power is resurfacing across many countries till now.

Fido Dido came into existence via some doodling by Sue Rose, who sketched it first on a napkin in 1985. She immediately recognized the potential of what she had created and teamed up with Joanna Ferrone to make T-shirts featuring this cartoon character.

As the cartoon’s popularity grew as a T-shirt character, PepsiCo licensed it as a mascot in 1987 and started featuring it in its 7Up ads.

Within a short time, the mascot began to get identified as the face of 7Up. His trendy look endeared him to millions not only in the US, but around the globe.

One charming fact about this tall and slim personality is his unconventional take on life. Youngsters immediately identify with him, and Fido grew as a traditionally animated version, before taking the form of a computer-generated image (CGI).

PepsiCo also used Fido in television advertisements for 7Up. The ad campaign strategists took liberty with this character and in one television advertisement, they even bestowed him with the ability to manipulate and alter reality, for example, reversing the changes done by an artist in one of the advertisements.

With the re-emergence of Fido in many countries, there is no doubt that the magnetic mascot is here to stay, to delight people all around the world.

In Asia, 7UP, some months back, brought back its wriggly-haired cartoon character Fido Dido in a new campaign in Bangladesh encouraging customers to “Think Fresh”.

“In India, it came back with the “Back to Cool” campaign, and was hugely popular and everybody wanted to be as cool as Fido Dido. Analysts pointed out that The Back to Cool campaign was definitely an outstanding campaign.

Before the mascot re-appeared in Nigeria late last year, there were speculations on the time and possible prompt return of Fido Dido in the country, with many fans eagerly anticipating the character’s comeback. 

According to reports, 7Up has been working to bring Fido Dido back as part of its marketing efforts in the country, and expectedly, the mascot made a big splash upon his return.

Many fans of the character, still remember their beloved and iconic figure with a distinctive look and quirky personality. This explains why Fido Dido is making a remarkable comeback as a hit with both old and new fans alike.

The mascot Stepped into Nigeria with a call for fans to be their original selves via a campaign tagged, “Be You, Nothing Sure Pass”.

In a world filled with everyone pressured to follow the crowd, 7Up through Fido Dido is reminding us that nothing is as clear and as refreshing as staying true to yourself. In essence, Be You, Nothing Sure Pass.

Since the launch of the campaign across all media touchpoints, especially on social media, the return of 7up’s Fido Dido has been at the center of conversations, as it sparked nostalgia and excitement amongst Nigerians.

Commenting on the re-introduction of Fido Dido, General Manager, Marketing, Segun Ogunleye, asserted that with Fido’s return, 7UP is not just rekindling nostalgia amongst its audience who have long associated the brand with Fido’s disposition but it is also encouraging people to tap into their originality with the beverage of choice, 7up.

His words: “It’s amazing to see a figure central to a lot of plays in our childhood.  As a young boy in the 80s I’d stop what I was doing to watch the Fido Dido adverts and even practice some with my friends and siblings. Quite sure some young people of the 80s out there would be having the same nostalgic feeling with this great return”.

With the massive sugar tax that is set to rock the beverage sector, and the swift response this challenge will generate from competition, It remains to be seen exactly how 7Up will incorporate Fido Dido effectively and consistently into its marketing campaigns in Nigeria to sustain the edge in the Nigerian market this new year. One thing is obvious- the character has a special place in the hearts of many consumers. Whether through social media campaigns, television advertisements, or other marketing efforts, Fido Dido has made a memorable return to the spotlight. But can it be sustainable all through 2023 and beyond? Only time will tell.

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