I’m friends with Louie the Fly, not Mortein : Conceptualising the new brand relationships on social media

Letheren, Kate & Kuhn, Kerri-Ann (2013) I’m friends with Louie the Fly, not Mortein : Conceptualising the new brand relationships on social media. In Campbell, Colin & Ma, Junzhao (Eds.) Looking Forward, Looking Back : Drawing on the Past to Shape the Future of Marketing : Proceedings of the 16th Biennial World Marketing Congress, Academy of Marketing Science, Monash University, Melbourne.

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Abstract

Spokes-characters are ‘...animated beings or objects, created to promote a product, service or idea’ (Phillips 1996, p.155). They were first used in the late 1800s when they emerged as registered trademarks, but the use of spokes-characters for marketing communications has since grown, owing to their ability to remind consumers about a product, transfer positive associations to a brand, and give a corporate company a more ‘personal’ face (Callcott and Lee 1995). One example is the Michelin Man, who has served as spokes-character for Michelin tyres since 1898, after starting out in print advertising.

Spokes-characters have become important brand representatives, no longer seen as simply entertaining cartoons featured in television and magazine advertisements. Corporations have now extended their use to interactive, social media platforms, where a consumer can be ‘friends’ with a spokes-character via Facebook, read their comments on the latest iPhone release through Twitter, and watch their family histories being documented on YouTube (see Figure 1). The interactions that consumers once had with two-dimensional spokes-characters have undergone significant transformation in the digital space. With spokes-character Facebook pages achieving significant numbers of ‘likes’ and interactions with consumers, one question concerns whether this strategy is creating characters that are more engaging than the brands they represent, and what impact this has on brand outcomes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 62988
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social media, mortein, branding
ISBN: 0939783169
ISSN: 08893071
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2013 Academy of Marketing Science
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2013 00:52
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2013 06:48

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