What cartoons can teach brands.

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Last night I was watching the new Scooby Doo movie called Scooby Doo Wrestle Mania. Scooby Doo and the gang won a trip to Wrestle Mania land after Scooby Doo won a video game of the same. I am a sucker for cartoons, especially old school ones. Scooby Doo is my favourite cartoon of all time, normal hero type. Batman, on the other hand had, has and will always have my heart as the Super Hero of the century.

Watching this movie I was reminded of how I used to love wrestling. I don’t watch it now but back in the day I was a fan. When the types of British Bulldog were the rage and KBC was the only channel to watch. That just tells you how old I am.

Anyway those are two brands that know how to reinvent themselves.

WWF and Hanna Barbra have collaborated to produce this movie. Wrestling stars appear in this movie as themselves and also do a voice over for their parts. While I may not know what happens at the WWF (does Rock still rock the stage?) I know a lot about Scooby DOO. I buy every movie that comes out. I also have some old episodes. I have also gotten my nephew hooked to Scooby Doo. Talk about passing on a legacy to the next generation.

Anyway some pointers from Scooby Doo.

Scooby Doo I think started being produced in the 60’s or 70’s during the time when hippies were popular hence the van and the sixties look alike clothes. But Scooby Doo unlike some of the popular programs of our childhood like He-man and She-rah has managed to remain relevant. Brands need to change with the times. Although they still wear what they wore in the 60’s they cover current themes.

Brands need to change with the times as their consumers are also changing and aging. They need to improve their packaging and appeal to attract new customers. Yet at the same time they need to retain the essential ingredients that make the old customers stick with the brand. Think about it, how many brands you used since you were still a child do you still use now. When I think about it there are very few things that I still use from childhood. Vaseline (who I cheat on,) Kiwi, House of Manji and Coca Cola products, are the only ones that come to mind. Most of the brands we used to use from when we were children like Colgate, Kimbo, and Omo have been replaced. But brands I have used for a long time like Safaricom (since I got my first phone in 2001) have kept on reinventing themselves.

Scooby Doo is still funny. The slogan Scooby Dooby Do is still relevant and who doesn’t love “Scooby Dooby do where are you? We got some work to do now. Scooby Dooby Do I see you, your ready and you’re willing!” I remember that from childhood. Brands should create memories with its audiences. Make them have great memories when they think about the product. I may not use Colgate anymore but I still remember them fondly for coming to school to teach us about taking care about our teeth. And who can forget that lovely Colgate junior that we ate instead of brushing our teeth.

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Batman has evolved every since it started. Instead of having just one Batman Bruce Wayne they have also passed on the mantle. If you look at Spiderman he is still Peter parker but they have changed the person playing Spiderman enough times (less then James Bond though) and updated it to modern times. He has also evolved his powers and joined Ironman and shield. Who saw that coming? Brands should evolve as people do. Ironman has Manga episodes and we know how Manga is taking over the cartoon world. I don’t really get it but every brand has its audience.

When we look at cartoons that have had a lasting power like Ironman, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, X men, Justice League (with its offshoot Young Justice) and wait for it no chick cartoon, we see that they keep evolving and drawing in new audiences. Brands should keep evolving as well. That way they will still remain relevant to people who loved them in the first place even as they get new customers.

Psst. If you are a Scooby Doo fan look out for the movie, it is really good.

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